Current Affairs

Traffic problem in Urban Areas

Traffic problem in Urban Areas

Under the strong influence of urbanization, the urban population of India rapidly increased from 62 million in 1951 (20 per cent of total population) to a mammoth 326 million by 2001 (25.5 per cent of total population). At this rate it is expected that India will achieve 50 per cent urbanization by 2050, i.e., 50 per cent of the total population would be living in urban centers. This high rate of urbanization has also brought about a wide range of urban problems, especially in the field of transportation. Burgeoning transport demand and comparatively low rate of growth of public transport facilities has resulted in large-scale increase in the ownership of personalized modes of transport


  • Owing to improper development of rail based modes in Metro Cities, the cities are heavily dependent on road based modes of transportation (93 per cent of the total trips performed in the cities are made using road based transport systems).
  • The constant digging up of the streets along with encroachments by hawkers and homes
  • Unprecedented raise in number of vehicles that are pouring out on roads, for example nearly 1,500 in Delhi every day.
  • IBM’s Global Commuter Pain Index, which ranked the emotional and economic toll of commuting in 20 international cities, Bengaluru and Delhi were ranked 6th and 7th in terms of commuter pain.
  • All efforts at traffic management have been focused on easing the passage of cars on roads and successive governments have tried to achieve this by adding road surface.
  • The problem is you just can’t build your way out of this congestion. The theory of congestion postulated by economists Gilles Duranton and Matthew A.
  • Turner ensures that can never happen because building new roads and widening existing ones leads to additional traffic that continues to rise until peak congestion returns to the previous levels.

Probable Solutions:

Why do people drive?

  • To reach where they live or where they work, or places of entertainment, healthcare or shopping. The more dispersed these are, the more people will need to drive. The answer then lies in self-contained neighborhoods with most places accessible by walking or cycling.
  • There is also an urgent need to curb VIP privileges and indeed make politicians suffer the same consequences of traffic congestion as other citizens do.
  • Carpooling may provide an appropriate answer to the everyday increasing traffic problem.
  • Discouraging car parking on roads by providing more authorized parking space with reasonable charges.
  • Advance technology apps giving beforehand information about traffic congestion so that commuters may divert their ways to avoid further traffic jams.
  • We need to augment Urban transportation system, by a combination of bus/train/metro system and a better coordination is required during implication of various programmes as such as:
  1. The RURBAN Mission.
  2. National Urban Transport Policy.
  3. AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation)



“Traffic Congestion pose as serious problem with the increasing rate of urbanization but the problem has not been addressed with adequate solution.” Comment

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