Topic: Report on the traffic congestion problem in India and suggested measures to alleviate the same.
India’s transport sector is large and diverse, it caters to the transport needs of 1.1 billion people. In 2012-2013, the sector contributed about 5.2 per cent to the nation’s GDP, with physical connectivity in urban and rural areas is essential for economic growth. Since the early 1990s, India's growing economy has witnessed a rise in demand for transport infrastructure and services. Efficient and reliable urban transport systems are crucial for India to sustain high economic growth. Services and manufacturing industries particularly concentrate around major urban areas, and require efficient and reliable urban transport systems to move workers and connect production facilities to the logistics chain.
Mobility flows have become a key dynamic in the rapid urbanisation process of Indian cities with urban transport infrastructure constituting the skeleton of the urban form. Despite the increasing levels of urban mobility in Indian cities, access to places, activities and services is becoming increasingly difficult in terms of convenience, cost and time. In fact, present levels of urban mobility are already generating a crisis situation characterized by high levels of congestion, environmental pollution, traffic fatalities and inequity eventually leading to a situation of undesired accessibility crisis. With over a quarter of India’s urban population below the poverty line, the mobility problems of the poor are of special concern. The unaffordability of private transport or the lack of public transit options forces this segment of the urban population to walk or cycle increasingly long distances, and, consequently, suffer severe pollution. As Indian cities continue to spread outward, those residents too poor to afford motorised transport will be increasingly put at a disadvantage, and further cut off from employment, recreational, educational, medical and other activity sites they need to access in the city.
In spite of the large diversity in the urban size, form and growth patterns of the 468 cities in India, there are several common factors that contribute to the severity of urban transport problems. Within the scope of this study, the main objectives are as follows:
To review the key trends in urban India that translate into negative externalities or problems in urban transportation;
To identify major challenges that influence effective policy formulation and implementation in this sector;
To review existing policy and programs in the urban transport sector in India;
To identify gaps in the existing policies and programs as well as propose a set of recommendations to address the main challenges.
The authors acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy or solution to the complex transport challenges facing the 468 cities. Therefore, the focus has been towards strengthening the existing governance mechanism in a way that...