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Growing population and insufficient public transport: The grand mismatch


-by Anushree Ghosh

The growing population in the cities of India is a matter of constant worry for the government. India ranks 2nd to China when it comes to population. Despite having several population control policies and family planning programs undertaken by the Indian government, experts believe that it is impossible to reach equilibrium before 2050, and the population may even surpass China by 2025. It is not hard to realize that we have limited resources and if the consumption keeps on increasing at this rate, then we’ll not have enough for all. The effects of the increasing population are evident in metropolitan cities where the migratory population keeps on adding to the existing population constantly.

Whether you are in a bus, metro, car, airport or in any other public place, you observe that the places are overloaded and there is an uncontrolled growth of traffic on the roads. In metros, commuting to one’s office is a major hassle – the person might end up spending 1 -2 hours to cover 20 km, roads are jam-packed in the peak office hours.

Although, India has recently witnessed a transformation in the public transport system of the major India cities with more and more metro projects, highway infrastructure, car-sharing services, and many other mediums that help people in commuting; but accommodating everyone in one go still looks like a distant dream. India’s airports are transformed and can be tagged as a piece of world-class infrastructure but the rush hours seem to dilute the purpose of providing the best facilities to everyone.

Our metro rails are overburdened and do not connect all parts of the cities – the first and the last leg of the journey remains an issue for many. The bus transport system is not competent enough to match the global standards, bus-stops are still old structures with no information display system to update the people standing there waiting for the bus. This leads to a lot of confusion and chaos.

A major challenge faced by the transport sector is the lack of coordination between the different agencies: metro-operators, cabs and autos, bus operators; in order to create smooth connectivity between every destination, we need an organizational framework that works with all the agencies and plans out the process of connecting the missing dots. Also, in public agencies, everyone should be well equipped to understand the basic technicalities for the uninterrupted functioning of the modes of transport. Therefore, the composite plan must also include agencies that are not run by the government.

With the integration of proper technology, many of the issues can be resolved. Technological advancements can enhance user experience and make transport efficient and quick. After incorporating the changes, a thorough analysis of the feedbacks by the users will help in modifying the plan. All of which should be backed up by research and innovation.

Anushree is a versatile writer, theater actress with an immense passion for any form of art. Her blogs will take you through the different horizons of infracultural storie.

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