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CHANDIGARH :11.6L vehicles for 11.2L people

March 15, 2019 06:06 AM

COURTESY HT MARCH 15

Rajanbir Singh rajanbir.singh@htlive.com
UT: 11.6L vehicles for 11.2L people

CHANDIGARH : The number of vehicles registered in Chandigarh has surpassed the number of people, thanks to the steady influx of new vehicles on the city roads.

Figures in the traffic police’s report on road crashes in 2018 show there were 11,62,623 vehicles on the city roads in 2018, against the population of 11,28,606 tallied by the annual census. This includes personal and commercial vehicles.

The Registering and Licensing Authority has vehicle registration data since 1974. But, this is the first time, the number of vehicles has exceeded the city’s population.

LEADING CAUSE OF AIR POLLUTION

In the air quality action plan prepared by the Chandigarh administration in January, vehicular emissions were classified as the leading cause of air pollution.

The short-term solutions included managing fuel adulteration and random checks to check quality of fuel. Widening of roads was also suggested.

The long-term solutions comprised building a 200-feet-wide PR 4 and PR 5 road connecting Dakshin Marg and Vikas Marg with the Punjab boundary towards Mullanpur. The land for this project is yet to be acquired.

Debendra Dalai, director, environment, UT, said, “The number of new vehicles entering city roads needs to be capped. A family of four should only have two vehicles, and vehicles older than 15 years should be put out of use.”

“The future lies in e-vehicles. Chandigarh Transport Undertaking is introducing e-buses. The central government also provides subsidy to people buying e-vehicles,” he added.

Public transport underrated

Umesh Sharma, a professor at the civil engineering department of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), attributed the trend to dwindling use of public transport.

“Status-conscious Chandigarh residents prefer personal vehicles over buses. Several households have more vehicles than the number of family members,” he said.

He said radical measures were required to tackle this. “Carpooling needs to be encouraged. The US has separate carpool lanes for smooth movement to encourage people to carpool, while Singapore government challans vehicles with only one passenger,” Sharma said

 
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