Today, When i was travelling in the delhi metro, after coming from the office. I had an amazing experience which brings the plight of people living in Delhi-Ncr in respect of the long going problem from almost a decade – TRAFFIC JAM.
Two friends, Appu and Monu who have just boarded the Delhi Metro from Rajiv Chowk Metro Station to Huda City Centre Station, were just trying to penetrate into the crowd standing on both sides of the gate. Even the working AC in the metro does not let them get rid of sweating, it was felt that to board a railway train from Delhi to any other state is far easier than to board metro to travel within Delhi – NCR. After the entire struggle, they were finally able to find a gap to stand.
Finally, after taking deep breathe, Appu asked Monu” Bhai kya haal hai delhi ka, hum dono school se college aa gye aur ab job bhi lag gayi but yeh delhi ka jam, waisa ka waisa” Don’t we have any solution to this? Or is it just going to grow within passage of time?
After glancing at people around, Monu after smiling replied “ Bhai jitna Sarkar bolti hai utna karti nahi aur jitna traffic hai utna kiya nhi jata”.
As I was standing near both of them, I could not resist myself and become a part of the conversation. I smiled and said that I, being a car owner, don’t want to drive my car and prefer to be in the scuffle of metro just to reach home on time and I believe many people in the metro are here because of this only. Both of them looked at me with a shocking expression. What? They spoke together.
I said with a smile on my face” Yes Bhai! It’s strange but this is true. I explicate them the data I have read some days back which says that today, a person travelling a distance of 40 km by a private or own vehicle during peak hours spends an average of 3.43 hours on the road, as opposed to 1.36 hours in 2011.
Further, I added that as per a study , the average speed of a vehicle being driven during the evening peak hours — between 5 pm and 7 pm — has come down from 42 kmph to 20 kmph (without taking traffic signals and other stoppages into account). The study also states that unless immediate steps are taken to unclog the roads, soon we may find ourselves crawling at 5 kmph — the average speed of a human walking — in the next 10 years. The data available shows that number of vehicles on city roads has grown from 74 lakhs to 89 lakhs in the last six years, a jump of almost 20%. There has been around 2-3 lakhs vehicles enter the city from outside every day, adding to the congestion.
Both of them were surprised and more of it gave a shocking expression after listening the above data. Suddenly we hear the announcement for Saket Metro Station. They then asked me where I will get down, I replied “at Huda City Centre”. They said they will also deboard there. I told them that after having a long struggle with the builders, I was able to get my flat at Sohna Road, whereas I work at Mandi House so it’s almost to the tune of 45-50 KMs I am supposed to travel on single side.
Suddenly, Monu said that the experiment of “Odd and Even” in Delhi should happen again. Appu straight away replied “what’s the difference it is going to bring?” It will add more people in metro, busses and auto. The government doesn’t have any control on the bus drivers and autos due to vote bank politics. The private cab aggregators charged heavy rates in the peak hours so in short, it will add a burden rather than lighten up. I express my conformity with Appu and describe the trial of Odd and Even as an unplanned and half baked food which we could not eat up and at the same time could not spit out since it was backed by fine imposed by Kejriwal led government.
Listening to all, Monu with sheer expression of disappointment said that there is no solution to the issue of traffic in Delhi – NCR.
With some positive spirit, Appu replied that there is a solution to every problem but only when you are willing to find a solution. The current Delhi government rather finding solutions is busy in fighting with the Centre and whereby no relaxation for the Delhiites as such. There has been no major infrastructure project articulated by Kejriwal government. When you keep adding water to a jar, one day it will overflow, that is what is happening in Delhi. The numbers of vehicles of all kinds whether its 2-wheelers or 4 wheelers are increasing at a faster speed but no roads have been built in the same number to increase the road network.
I utter my accord and state that the Modi government has set up a High Powered Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary (Urban Development) in October, 2014 for suggesting measures for decongesting Delhi traffic. The centre had announced Rs.3,250 crore assistance from Urban Development Fund (UDF) in Nov. 2015 for undertaking junction improvements, providing missing link and removing choking points in Delhi. Work is in progress on these measures.
In continuation with what I said, Appu added that haven’t you heard of “Eastern Peripheral Highway and Western Peripheral Highways and eight-laning of NH between Mukarba Chowk in Delhi and Panipat in Haryana” articulated and started by National Highway Authority under Centre government to decongest the traffic in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
I added that the Eastern Peripheral Highway will be inaugurated in August 2017 and the others are under process. Since I would be among the beneficiaries of these major projects, I have constant watch on the development and completion of the projects. Once these projects gets completed then the vehicles coming from western zones and going to eastern zones would not required to enter in Delhi and would ease out the congestion.
Monu then added that in his view, the government should put ban on vehicles prior to 10 years or say 15 years. I replied that the government has already working on this policy along with disincentivizing the use of private vehicles. Appu said then how they would buy a owned car if government would make it difficult to buy car? We all laugh and I replied “Don’t worry Bhai, it is never going to happen as we are developing country and auto sector is also crucial for the economy to grow and flourish. We all laugh and smiled at each other.
The conversation seems to be never ending but the trip ends and then the announcement for Huda City Centre was made. We handshake and shared our numbers with a big smile on our faces. It was nice experience interacting with them.
While deboarding the metro, I thought for a while that as per news we have around 30 lakhs rider using the metro services on daily basis, how many of us actually interact with each other and become Metro Friends. Delhi Metro has not only reduced the travel time and let us reach on time but also has given an opportunity to interact and travel with our loved ones chitchatting and making new friends as well.
Oh Wait. While I punch my metro card a new whatsapp message just arrived.. “Appu added you in Delhi Metro Friends group”…