Bangalore, April 8, 2018: Bangaloreans always have one thing to tell people “Do you know it took me two hours to get out of the Silk Board junction because of the heavy traffic.” Or another common statement would be “I deliberately left work late to avoid peak hour rush.”
Residents of the city vividly remember the ease with which they travelled to places, back in the day. However, covering the same distance, today, is particularly difficult because of the rising number of non-transport vehicles like cars, two-wheelers, jeeps and the subsequent traffic it generates.
The Karnataka Transport Department stated that there were close to 65.96 lakh registrations in a single month. Data (shows, Bangalore has seen an increase in the number of vehicles registered in the month of January in 2018).
January 2018 has witnessed an increase in the number of vehicles registered as compared to 2016 and 2017.
In 2018, there were a total of 73, 07,812 vehicles registered in a single month. This includes 50.64 lakh two- wheelers, 14.15 lakh cars, 15.53 lakh taxis and 4.48 lakh every type of buses.
Daily commuters say they prefer private vehicles over the public transport because it is at their disposal.
Abhineet Singh, a two-wheeler owner, said “I understand private vehicles add to the carbon footprint of a person but it should also be understood that public transport is not that well connected. If I have to go to an interior part of an area it becomes difficult because there is no last mile connectivity, this is where private transport comes very handy.”
There have been reports that said Bangalore has the highest road tax amount in the country. These registrations add to the revenue that the Government makes through road tax, toll taxes and others that vehicle users pay.
MN Sreehari, Bangalore-based traffic expert said that the government needs to have a concrete plan to curb this increasing momentum of vehicle registrations in the city by bringing certain restrictions. He added, “The ease with which driving licenses are obtained is also contributing to this trend. However, the government needs to dis-incetivize by possibly increasing the fee in the city’s parking spaces.”
While the city’s buses find it difficult to provide that last mile connectivity because of the status of existing roads, he also emphasized how the State government will need to focus more energies on building Bangalore’s mass transport networks like the Metro to ease travel in the city and potentially slow down this process of more vehicles on the city’s roads.
Environmentalists say that cars are a status symbol for the citizens in the city but they do not realize that it is bad for the environment as pollution is increasing day by day.
Ulhas Anand, a Bangalore-based environmentalist, said, “Nowadays, we get to see that a person has two to three cars and it has become a style statement .What people do not realize that they are only creating problem for themselves and for environment too; as global warming is increasing they should take care.”
Kshitij, an environmentalist, said, “If we consider Amsterdam, one can see people going on their bicycles and not preferring cars or any kind of vehicle. Similarly Bangalore citizens should opt for environmental friendly transport modes. These can include electric cars, bicycles or any other mode that does not emit harmful gases into the environment. In addition to this, government should regulate a strict law over the number of cars people own.”