HYDERABAD: Apart from the more obvious reasons behind Hyberabad’s traffic horrors like rising number of cars on the roads and poor public transportation, urban planners in the city note that West Zone’s traffic problem is essentially a housing issue as well.
A majority of city’s IT professionals, especially those who have migrated to Hyderabad from other parts of the country, do not live close to their places of work.
More often than not, techies are forced to travel nearly 5 to 10 km every day to their workplace, and back. This scenario is seen by experts as an unavoidable result of poor planning by city planners who forgot to plan about where the employees of these employment-dense areas will live.
“They did not opt for one specific plan like building residential areas around the Knowledge City or near the financial district for IT professionals to be able to live where they work,” noted an urban policy researcher in the city.
Today, most of the city’s techies are forced to live on the city’s peripheral suburbs which are have a poorer public transport connectivity.
In the absence of a proper residential spaces around the city’s silicon valley, two scenarios emerge. The first where small-plot owners are combining plots in the peripheral areas to set up smaller, affordable flats. The second where people continue to live faraway and choose every day commute.
According to Anant Maringanti of Hyderabad Urban Lab, several owners of plots smaller than 200 sq yd are combining plots in areas like Nizampet, Bachupally, Nanakramguda, Hafizpet, Masjid banda etc.
A lot of techies hence live here without any public transport available, and are forced to use cars for commute as the distance is too much to walk down.
As for those who live in distant parts of the city like Sainikpuri, Uppal and LB Nagar due to lack of decent housing options at affordable rates in the West Zone, end up using cars or public transport like the Metro.
“Metro is helping several people commute to work from these dense and distant parts of the city to West Zone. However, most of these areas are still not covered by public transport, which remains a concern,” noted Anant.
What is worse, say experts, that the housing options that are now coming up in and around employment-dense areas are not affordable for a common IT employee.
These housing colonies target the higher income group of mid-level and senior-level management groups with each property costing up to Rs 5 crore, which leaves out a major chunk of the working class.
Urban planners note that for a sustainable growth ahead, providing public transport is one good option. The other could be to redevelop areas to bring work to where people live, or better still, make homes where people work.
“The government must create economic revitalisation in the East, North and South Zones. Also the city is constantly evolving and finding options So maybe areas like Ameerpet, Yusufguda, that are along routes with good public transport, need government assistance in terms of policies, to facilitate small-property owners and builders to densify,” adds Anant.
TSRTC launches accident-free week
The TSRTC is holding an ‘accident-free week’ starting Monday to educate bus drivers and conductors on the importance of road safety and road rules for driving on city roads. This is part of a State-wide awareness drive where traffic officials would sensitise them on road rules.
Maintenance drives will also be conducted to check fitness of the buses and a medical camp to check the health condition of bus drivers. Along with this, they will also sensitise the staff on etiquettes to be followed while driving in terms of not talking on phone while driving, not smoking and also encourage their families to ensure proper rest for the drivers.
“We want to ensure a significant drop in accidents this year. This is being taken up as part of CSR,” C Vinod Kumar, executive director of TSRTC, GHMC zone said
100 pushcarts removed from Tolichowki
The traffic police on Monday organised a special anti-encroachment drive under Tolichowki flyover, by removing over 100 push-carts obstructing traffic on the roads.
The West-Central Zone traffic police had brought in as many as 100 DCM trucks and three traffic cranes to remove the carts from the roads