Wednesday, September 2, 2015

INFRASTRUCTURE PROBLEMS --TRANSPORTATION




Bangalore has a population of about 8.50 million at present. According to the recent trend of growth the population may reach about 9.30 million by the year 2011. The traffic problems are already very serious. Acute traffic congestion on roads is affecting movement of vehicles. The total number of vehicles at present is 23 lakhs. At the present rate of increase of vehicles the number of vehicles will be about 27 lakhs by the year 2011.

Bangalore has developed as a Radial Pattern city with major roads leading to the central area of the City. The radial roads are transportation corridors with heavy traffic volume. The tendency in Indian cities is to locate commercial activities on busy traffic roads. The commercial activities attract traffic and create congestion and parking problems. As the city grows to a large size like Bangalore traffic problems in the central area becomes very difficult to manage. Total length of roads in Bangalore is about 4500 kms. There are 38000 intersections and 4100 cross roads.

Growth of vehicles:

The number of vehicles in a large city is related to the size of population, the efficiency of mass transportation, and the educational level. In Bangalore as the mass transportation is not able to meet the requirements, private vehicles have increased for use according to individual requirements. The number of vehicles in Bangalore is half the number of vehicles in the whole state. The increase in the number of vehicles is about 1.50 lakhs vehicles per year. Two wheelers are about 74% of the vehicles. Until an efficient rapid transit system is introduced in the City the private vehicles will continue to increase and a choking situation may have to be faced by the citizens.

Vehicular Pollution:

Bangalore is one of the most polluted cities in India. During May 2001 it was reported that the suspended particulate matter levels ranged from 151 to 482 micro grams per cubic meter air when their limit in ambient air should not exceed 200 for healthy living. Nitrogen oxide level ranged between 21and 120 units when the limit was 80. The serious vehicular pollution is due to very large number of vehicles, acute traffic congestion on roads with inadequate road widths, use of adulterated fuel, bad maintenance of vehicles etc.

Road Accidents:

Too many accidents are taking place in Bangalore. The number of road accidents recorded are as follows:

Year No. of accidents Persons killed Persons injured 
2001 9026 703         6929
2002 9856 820         7577
2003 10506 883         7980
2004 9101 903         6921


About 27 accidents occur every day with 2 or 3 persons killed and 18 persons injured. The number of two wheeler accidents is very high. The reasons for too many accidents in Bangalore are due to too many private vehicles, acute congestion in central area of the City, inadequate widths of roads compared to traffic volumes, too many rash driven auto rickshaws and maxi-cabs etc. The foot paths are badly maintained by the Mahanagar Palike and the pavements hawkers and encroachments by shop keepers in the commercial areas force the pedestrians to walk on the road pavements and get involved in accidents.

Parking Problem:

There is acute parking problem in the central area of the City between Seshadri Road and Lalbaugh –Fort Road and K.H. Road and Goods Shed Road. In the Cantonment central area also there is acute parking problem in the area between Richmond Road and St. John’s Church Road and St. John’s Road and Miller Road. Very serious parking problem due to trucks is observed in Kalasipalyam Wholesale Market where more than 300 trucks operate since it location in the year1979. The Bangalore Mahanagar Palike did a mistake in locating the wholesale market in an already congested central area. There is a need to shift the Wolesale Market to a suitable area.

Fashionable shopping centres like; Brigade Road, Commercial Street, M.G. Road, Residency Road etc. have serious parking problems.

Popular convents and schools are also creating problems during opening and closing hours of the day. Traffic police is trying to solve this problem by prohibiting parking near such convents. Some of the convents have space in their premises but are not allowing parking of the vehicles. Such institutions should be forced to accommodate parking of maximum number of vehicles within their premises.

Commercial complexes should have adequate parking spaces for their vehicles as well as their visitors. In most of the complexes the available minimum parking spaces are also converted partly or fully as usable space creating further parking problems and congestion. Illegally converted parking spaces should be restored to ease parking problems. Strict enforcement of parking provisions by B.M.P in all new buildings has to be ensured.

The new Shivajinagar Bus Stand has provision for parking in the upper floor with a massive ramp. But it is not convenient to the vehicle users to drive up the ramp and park the vehicle. The vehicles are being parked in the cross roads nearby. At a later date the upper parking space is likely to be converted into office space to earn more revenue. If that happens, the ramp will be a waste. Even after this experience and the earlier experience of the Parking Complex on J.C Road, B.M.P has provided parking above the building in the New Complex  built in place of Wellington Hospital on K.G. Road.

Incentives may be offered for private parking lots on B.M.P owned lands in congested areas with heavy parking demand by allowing collection of rents from a few shops in the premises. More and more super markets in all the localities with liberal parking spaces for the public should come up to discourage unauthorized commercial activities on major traffic routes.

One Way System:

One way restrictions introduced on several roads requires review. One way enforced on several wider roads like; Kasturba Road, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road, Seshadri Road, Cunningham Road, and Post Office Road may have to be changed as two way roads. One way system should be reviewed on a comprehensive basis covering the entire city.

Ring Roads:

The State Government entrusted the Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi to conduct Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Studies of Bangalore during 1963-64 and submit proposals for improvement. After conducting the surveys and studies the Institute recommended formation of Inner Ring Road, Intermediate Ring Road, and Outer Ring Road for Bangalore. There was long delay in forming the Outer Ring Road. During the year 2003,  40 years after the proposal was made, the last stretch of the Outer Ring Road was completed near Hebbal. During the long delay the alignment was modified number of times to avoid encroachments that had come up on the alignment. Alignment as executed is not so convenient compared to the original alignment with reference to the boundaries of the total built up area of the City. In several portions of the Outer Ring Road developments have come up beyond the Ring Road. In view of this the Peripheral Road proposed outside the Outer Ring Road has to be taken up to bye-pass the through traffic. Portion of this road between Tumkur Road and Hosur Road is proposed to be completed during Jan’2006 by NICE authorities under the Bangalore – Mysore Express Highway Project. The remaining portion between Hosur Road – Old Madras Road – Bellary Road – Tumkur Road is being taken up by B.D.A and for which land acquisition notification has been issued.

Regarding the Intermediate Ring Road, only a few years back the portion between Koramangala and Airport Road was formed and is found to be very useful. One more link between Gitanjali Talkies in Malleswaram and T.Chowdiah Road (Sankey Road) is yet to be formed.  Effort should be made to form this link also in the original form or with modification as the other link formed between Koramangala and Air port Road was found to be very useful.

The Inner Ring Road for which existing roads were proposed are not yet widened to accommodate the increased volume of traffic. The Mahanagar Palike has to implement proposals like this made in the Comprehensive Development Plan of the City.

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