Hyderabad: Do you remember the number of vehicles in the city before 2010? It was barely 25 lakh vehicles, mostly two-wheelers with traffic snarls being reported mostly at key junctions.
Over the last one decade, however, the number of vehicles plying in Hyderabad has doubled to over 50 lakh. Even though the road network has not seen much change, the vehicular population has gone up by two times.
According to data from the Regional Transport Authority (RTA), the vehicle population in the Greater Hyderabad limits, comprising Hyderabad, Rangareddy and Medchal regions, was 30.6 lakh in 2012 and has now gone up to 57.5 lakh by the end of November this year.
These 57.5 lakh number of vehicles are personal vehicles which constitute 90 per cent of the overall vehicle population in Hyderabad. If autos, cabs, RTC buses, private buses, goods carriers and other commercial vehicles are taken into account, the number of vehicles is more than 60 lakh. Out of 57.5 lakh personal vehicles, two wheelers alone account for 46.7 lakh. This was 24.9 lakh in 2012.
According to officials, since 2010, nearly three lakh two-wheelers are being added to the existing vehicle population every year. There are nearly 1,000 two-wheelers being registered in the city daily.
As for four-wheelers, from basic Maruti 800s to swanky Bentleys, the city has become home to over 10 lakh cars. If the number of four wheelers in 2012 were 5.74 lakh, the figure has shot up to 10.7 lakh by this November. The number of four-wheelers being registered every day here is 230. On an average, every month, over 7,000 four-wheelers are being registered, officials said.
According to road safety experts, many homes in Hyderabad have two bikes and a car. They said, both father and son would have separate bikes, and, daughter and mother use a common scooter, apart from owning a car for their entire family.
Vinod Kanumala of Indian Federation of Road Safety said that in middle-class families, at least three members would be working and they need individual vehicles. However, though the vehicle population was increasing, the road infrastructure was not developing at the same pace.
“The vehicle population goes up by 30 per cent during Dasara and Diwali as people consider these festivals auspicious to buy a bike or car. The rise in number of vehicles will continue resulting in huge traffic jams in coming days,” he said.
Experts attributed people opting personal vehicles to lack of public transportation and connectivity. For the estimated population of one crore, there are only 3,300 buses ferrying over 30 lakh passengers , 120 MMTS services carrying 1.8 passengers and metro trains transporting nearly 4 lakh passengers daily which together account to over 35 lakh passengers.
At a time when vehicles are growing at rapid pace, experts suggested daily commuters to habituate car-pooling to ease the traffic conditions on busy stretches.
Road safety experts said that concept of car-pooling would work out in Hitec City, Gachibowli and Kondapur as the roads in IT corridor are mostly congested with personal cars and cabs. They said rather than going along in a car, a commuter could share with three others and it could reduce traffic to some extent.