here has been a sharp rise in the number of vehicles registered in Mumbai. Transport experts have expressed their concern pertaining to the increasing number of vehicles in the metropolis. Rising vehicular traffic is causing severe hardships to Mumbaikars as incidents of road rage have become a common phenomenon in the city. Motorists often get involved in a brawl with their counterparts as there is heated exchange of words between them. Many of them jump the signals to reach their destination on time.
Many motor cycle drivers even drive their vehicles on the footpaths which may prove fatal for pedestrians. Since vehicles occupy a huge amount of road space pedestrians are left with a little space to walk. According to a study, private cars occupy 85 per cent of road space while public transport occupy just 15 per cent but carry more number of passengers. Due to rising income and increase in people’s spending capacity today it has become easy to own vehicles. Automobile companies introduce new models every month to attract youth. As a result of this new vehicles get added to the already congested road network in the city.
In December 2017, the number of vehicles registered in Mumbai has increased to 700 per day. On an average, 500 vehicles were registered daily in the city between 2010 and 2014. Even though vehicular traffic has increased in the metropolis but the overall length of roads remained unchanged at around 2,000 km. Due to surge in vehicular traffic there has been a rise in pollution activities as citizens are complaining of asthma and bronchitis. Mumbai is already ranked fourth in the list of the most polluted megacities of the world. Since last few years, there has been a sharp rise in two-wheeler population in the metropolis. The inefficient public transport system is responsible for increasing two-wheelers in Mumbai. Commuters have to wait for more than half an hour for buses and share autorickshaws are not available in every area of the city. Therefore, they use two-wheelers to reach their offices while some of them park their vehicles outside railway stations for boarding trains.
According to transport experts, the city needs to overhaul public transportation. The government needs to invest money to upgrade transport network in the city. Steps must be taken by the government to introduce congestion tax, regulate parking and controlling of vehicle ownership per family. Instead of using their own vehicles citizens can also opt for car-pooling facilities. If four persons are staying in a same locality they can share a cab for reaching their offices. This step will enable to decongest the city’s roads and can pave way for fuel conservation. Even traffic police must ensure that motorists follow traffic rules and impose fine if they violate them.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)