Why Mumbai Has Become Most Car Congested City in India?
Despite the land area size being only 603.4 square km, Mumbai has topped all the other cities to become the most car-congested city in India as per a report by Times Of India. The financial capital has seen a rise in car density by 18% in only two years. This means that there is a total of 510 cars per kilometer. This figure is five times that of Delhi. Delhi has only 108 cars per km. These numbers automatically have lead to more traffic and more unauthorized parking.
Why Is The Car Density Of Mumbai So High?
The biggest reason why this problem has risen is the lack of road space. Mumbai has only 2000 kilometers of road space while Delhi has 28,999 kilometers of road space. From 2016 the number of cars per km, in Mumbai, has changed from 430 to 510, as per data received from Mumbai Transport Authority. This is due to the increase in number of registered private cars. Currently the number of registered private cars in Mumbai is 10.2 lakh. *Courtesy - TOI
Transport officials are alarmed by this growth rate. Besides the fact that the public transport growth is hampered, parking issues also witness a sharp growth. The lack of proper city planning in Mumbai is also a reason for massive traffic jams in the city. Some cities have detailed development plans, citing where to build the houses, roads etc. and consequently have lesser traffic issues.
How Has The Car Congestion Problem Risen?
RTO Mumbai says that the western suburbs have the most number of car registrations, over 5 lakh. While in the island city there are 3.3 lakh registered cars and an additional 1.7 lakh private cars in the eastern suburbs.
Besides this, officials also say that the number of high-end cars have also witnessed a rise in areas like Powai in the eastern suburbs. Next on the list for high-end car registration is Chembur.
Records also show that with rise in residential and commercial buildings, the car congestion has risen quiet a lot in Andheri and Goregaon areas. In areas like Kandivli, Bandra and Borivli people are now upgrading their cars for bigger cars, which in turn tend to occupy more road space. While the Colaba- Cuffe Parade also has quiet a high number of car population of residents as well as commercial vehicles.
A car dealer has quipped up on this topic saying that another reason for this problem is due to the ease of buying cars today. People from the age range of 18 to 35 can easily buy cars now on EMIs and with a down payment. This of course is a direct result of rise in standard of living of people. Hence ending up with almost 49% of road space occupied with such private own vehicles.
How To Tackle This Problem?
People in authority had suggested earlier to encourage people to use more and more public transport. This was seen as a way to control the car population in Mumbai. But since the problem of car congestion has risen so steeply in so short of a time, transport commissioners are now changing their suggestions.
A. V. Shenoy of Mumbai Transport Forum has indicated towards a need for a parking authority in the city. One, which can formulate new parking policies and keep check of unauthorized parking issues. He has also suggested imposing a congestion tax in areas of heavy traffic like the business hubs.
Experts say that the Maharashtra government is now focusing on setting up of metro rail corridors to ease up the traffic problem in Mumbai and also encouraging people to use more and more public transport. A panel, headed by additional commissioner of police for traffic, S Veeresh Prabhu and many other senior officers from transport authorities, has asked people’s suggestions in writing to help tackle the traffic situation. Also suggestions can be emailed to the traffic chief at email@example.com. This panel has also been tasked with setting up of a Mumbai Parking Authority.