HYDERABAD: Romantics would say Hyderabad has a unique charm that makes one feel like they are stepping into the set of an art movie; people and things around them move slow, sometimes excruciatingly. But that is just romantics. In a first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers from four American universities, Hyderabad has been ranked the third slowest and sixth most congested in India, with respect to traffic movement.
Published as a white paper by National Bureau of Economic Research in the USA, the study points out the need for not only a better traffic management system in cities but also, and more importantly, for financial investment to improve urban infrastructure for free-flow of traffic.
Titled ‘Mobility and congestion in urban India’, the study analysed more than 22 million trips between different destinations across 154 cities in the country and finally, ranked the 20 slowest and 20 fastest cities in India. Apart from this, the 20 most congested cities were also ranked.
As per the research, the slowest city in India is Kolkata, followed by Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Varanasi. Meanwhile, among the 20 most congested cities, the top five are Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
The top five fastest cities were found to be Ranipet, Srinagar, Kayamkulam, Jammu and Thrissur; however, even in these cities, the vehicular speeds are slower than that of the slowest cities in the USA.
How are slow and congested cities different?
Slowest cities are those where the speed at which vehicles move on roads is intrinsically slow regardless of traffic congestion. This is also known as uncongested mobility. For example, while Pune has been ranked seventh most congested city, it is ranked 20th amongst slowest cities, which means even though the city is as congested as Hyderabad (ranked 6th) the average speed of vehicles on Pune roads is higher than that on Hyderabad roads.
Need for investments to improve infrastructure
The study observed that in most Indian cities travel time was consistently recorded high throughout and not just during peak hours. However, it was also seen that traffic congestion was a problem associated mainly with city centres. There is no alternative for the respective governments but to invest money in improving urban infrastructure, like developing more primary roads and improving regular grid networks.
This research also indicates the need for the Telangana government to up its game in improving the deteriorating condition of road networks in Hyderabad.
Mindspace flyover inaugurated
Hyderabad: The flyover at Mindspace Junction was inaugurated on Friday. It is likely to bring respite to IT employees who often use the route. In April, an underpass along this route was opened, which eased up traffic a bit. The new flyover is likely to completely resolve traffic jams in the area. The construction is part of Strategic Road Development Plan(SRDP). The four-lane flyover is 830m long and will connect Ikea at one end and Inorbit Mall at the other. It has been constructed at a total cost of `48.06 crore. An IT company has come forward to sponsor trees, at a cost of `2-3 lakh, to GHMC to be planted along the flyover. The flyover was inaugurated by Chief Secretary SK Joshi. Municipal Administration and Urban Development Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar and GHMC Commissioner M Dana Kishore were also present.