4. The ongoing strike of cab operators in the National Capital Region and the associated difficulties being faced by commuters are stark reflections of the lack of transport planning in the overall scheme of urban planning. Comment.

  • The recent strike by app-based cab operators and consequent overcharging and harassment by auto drivers is a reflection of a haphazard public transport system in the NCR region.The growth of Delhi and its adjoining areas has not been marked by a robust transportation policy and only ad-hoc arrangements like increasing number of buses and autos, illegal private cabs operators and unregulated app-based taxi operators have been initiated for catering to increasing demand. The enforcement of various transportation related laws is lax due to shortage of administrative staff and complexity of multiple authorities. The principle of demand and supply has not done any good to commuters, drivers and cab owners as a single unified transport authority and a single transport policy is non-existent.

    If public transportation has to be made friendly for all stakeholders then a single transport authority for entire NCR region must be created with necessary staff and enforcement powers. The NCR Development Board should also come out with a single transport policy for autos, buses, cabs and app-based cab operators.

  • Shobhit Jaiswal

    The ongoing strike of cab operators in the NCT region leading to difficulties faced by commuters highlight the vulnerable and the ineffective state of public transport system in India.

    Public transport system in India fails to provide end to end connectivity and its connectivity is largely fragmented leading to commuters to rely on autos and cabs for an end connectivity. Hence people are dependent on autos and cabs.

    Transport systems are often burdened with overcapacity leading to overcrowding.

    Lastly, the transport planning is not in accordance with urbanisation and many places which are commercial and business hubs are not linked with the public transport system.

    Government needs to develop scientific techniques and methodologies (GIS mapping, topographical modelling, demographic distribution etc.) for the transport planning as per the urbanisatioon pattern. There is also a need to expand the transport system in accordance to the urabisation pattern for an end-end connectivity.
    A robust and cost effective transport system is the life line for any nation who wants to achieve its devlopmental goals in an enviornmentally sustainable fashion.

  • Rex

    1. The ongoing strike by cab operators has crippled daily life and exposed the lack of transport planning in the NCR. People have been left to the mercy of slow, crowded buses or autos that charge exorbitantly. The overburdened Metro is the only saving grace in a public transportation system that is often inefficient and unable to meet the demand.

    2. In the NCR, as in other cities of India, unplanned growth has led to the straining of the cities’ infrastructure to the point of breakdown. Cities have grown built upon private enterprise and capital with ineffective state help and little regulation. This has serious economic, social and environmental ramifications.

    3. Some observations and the consequences of this lack of transport planning:
    i. Schemes like JNNURM have failed to deliver adequate results and the Smart Cities mission will yield results only after a few years. In any case, much money has been spent without achieving the desired results. Cities like Pune are now planning municipal bonds to raise money for infra – strict auditing should be done of how the funds will be spent.

    ii. A recent report said that India is right up there with China when it comes to air pollution (India-China account for ~50% of global deaths related to PM 2.5 exposure!). The Govt is also planning graded responses to pollution levels. In this urgent fight against pollution, public transportation plays a major role as it provides an alternative to personal automobiles. Thus a failure here means a failure to deal with pollution.

    iii. Instead of “reacting” to the demands of the populace with short-term plans, all planning should be done keeping in view the demands of the future. Thus, as urban growth explodes in India, the cities infra’ will need to keep up — be it drainage, housing, power or transportation. Else they will, especially transportation, end up as bottlenecks to our cities’ growth.

  • Anand

    INDIA is going through rapid urbanisation and in coming years more then half of indias population are going to reside in cities.but this urbanisation is not accompanied with proper transportation facilities.
    transportation services in indian cities are crippled.public transportation fails to provide end-to-end transporting facilities.buses railways are overcrowded with delays
    no proper pan-city,norht-south,east-west connectivity by public transportation.
    app based cab services are emerging without regulatory framework which plugged the gap of demand supply but .these tend to indulge in SURGE PRICING during peak hrs or during emergencies eg during odd even rule.
    transportaton requirements for DIVYANGAN specially physicaly disabled,blind,deaf and mute citizens are not taken into account.no proper seprate services for women during peak hrs.
    smart cities mission is envasages to solves these problesm along with this RAPID BUS TRANSPORT SYSTEM,SMART TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT,CYCLE ONLY ROADS SHOULD BE PROMOTED.

  • Valar dohaeris

    Sprawling urbanisation isn’t a standalone process but it brings many other interdependent requirements for the ease of living in urban centres. For eg- sustainable living spaces, places for recreation, smart transport for efficient movement of goods and people etc. recent cab strikes and the difficulty it has caused for city dwellers to commute brings out lacunae in urban planning in many ways-
    • Industry and office hubs- thousands of people availing cab services – pickup and drop to and from offices
    • Day to day travel for common man becoming a tedious task
    • Burdened inadequate public transport- metro provision only in limited cities
    Inadequate planning isn’t manifested in this issue only but we have constantly seen issues like-
    • Rains bringing cities to standstill by flooding for roads and spaces
    • Cities witnessing heaps of garbage in face of municipal staff strikes
    • Late construction of support infrastructure choking city roads for years before completion etc
    Multiple incidents like these must serve as a realisation for govt to take up infrastructure building in a timely and phased manner. ‘smart city’ plan need smart planning first, keeping in consideration the needs from the future and not just a patchwork of solutions to deal with problems of today.

    207 words

  • Ghalib

    Our urban cities are expanding exponentially. The lack of urban planning has resulted into suffering for millions of commuters daily in our cities. Despite having metros, local trains, BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit System), local taxies and private cabs, commuters struggle to travel in our cities. The situation becomes worse when any of the transport medium is not available due to the strike or any other reason. The commuters in Delhi are having hard time due to the strike of cab operators. Government needs to improve its urban planning incorporating following suggestions: 

    1. The government needs to plan in well advance about future increase of population in urban area.

    2. The effective and on time implementation is required for various planned transportation modes. Eg- Delhi Metro was completed in record time. Other metro project got delayed for many years like Pune Metro, Jaipur Metro etc.

    3. The dependency on one particular mode of transport should be lesser. Eg – In Mumbai, local train is the primary mode of transport. The government is planning to start boats for sea transportation from one point to another point in Mumbai.

    4. The government needs to make a cluster of all transportation medium, where all transport modes should be interlinked. Eg – Metro feeder buses for Metros.

    5. The car pooling should be promoted to protect environment and to have less cars on roads. Even Delhi governments odd-even scheme can be implemented temporary to control pollution levels.

    6. Private sector should be actively involved in urban planning for effective implementation. Eg- private cab service providers.

    Government needs to work on smart cities and plan better local transportation so that commuters do not face hurdles. Also, better coordination is required with private players (like cab service providers) so that this basic facility should be provided uninterrupted.

  • sbt57

    Recently, cab drivers went on strike against cab aggregators due to declining returns.Consequently it created difficulty for commuters in the NCR. The heavy dependence of public on cabs and government’s inability to resolve the deadlock quickly shows flaws in the transport planning. This happened because;

    1.There is no end to end multi-modal connectivity so that there is less dependence on cabs and private transport.
    2.City roads are not friendly for pedestrians or cyclists.
    3.Disregard for traffic rules and poor road construction and planning make city roads unsafe.
    4.There is no broader planning regarding the share which every segment of road transport (be it bus,auto,private vehicle etc) will take.Hence, in any unforeseen situation,be it strike,road blocking etc, commuters are disproportionately hit.

    Hence,there is urgent need to ensure proper traffic planning through following ways:
    1.Having contingency plans for unforeseen situation.
    2.Create infrastructure to ensure maximum use of public transport.This is not only cost effective but also eco-friendly and socially inclusive.
    3.make roads pedestrian friendly and use innovative models like bicycle renting to ensure end to end connectivity.The idea is to move people and not vehicles.
    4.Involve citizens and NGOs for road safety awareness and following traffic rules.Further,technology like CCTV cameras and drones can be used as punitive measure.

    As India urbanizes at a rapid pace, having a robust traffic planning and management is inevitable for SMART and sustainable Indian cities.

  • Arjun
    • Axi Tak

      hit the mark, exact answer. Learning to be precise like you.

    • Arjun

      Our planning legislations do not require the master plan to design the transport, water and energy networks of the city. Even when master plans are comprehensive and integrate various sectors into the plan, these elements of the plan are not statutorily binding.

      What makes these sectoral plans even more difficult to implement is the fact that these functions are typically under the jurisdiction of multiple parastatal agencies.

  • Mains

    cab drivers are on strike because of following reasons:
    1) No fixed income. In case of odd/even rule they earn nothing on alternate days.
    2) No social security benefits ex. insurance. There are high chances of accident or damage to car in metropolitan areas.
    3) No proper incentives.
    4) Heavy traffic cuts their efficiency. The time they travel is less than they are stuck in traffic on every nook and corner. Also many construction activities increases the difficulty. Along with this Delhi is NCR where every now and then VVIPs travel which blocks the road, thus loss for drivers and commuters.
    5) No job security.

    There are no such problems in US though there are more vehicles and is far more urbanized than India.
    The failure of government in planning can be seen from the naked eyes. This is not because their planning went wrong, this is because they were never planned for this kind of problem. This neglection and lack of vision of vision is the result of planning on paper.
    After independence there was more focus on food and shelter and road was built with minimum needs to commute from 1 place to other. Every 5 years government came and went , blaming the previous govt. for their lack and not even taking any step during their tenure.
    Thus few steps needs to be taken in order to curb this menace.
    1) Planning should be executed in towns and cities which are yet to be metropolitanised.
    2) Metropolitan cities should make strict rules for cab drivers and operators and should be incentivised if they follow proper rules and regulation
    3) Vision, planning and execution should be overall motto.

    With this government can make better infrastructure and can be successful in materializing its schemes like Make in India (Any business drives on infrastructure first ) and Smart Cities.

    • Ashish Dahiya

      gud ans..

  • Axi Tak
    • Arjun

      very good answer axi….
      points r comprehensive and nicely articulated.
      can add that
      involving software companies like tcs,google to reduce traffic using technology.
      cultivating the attitude of reducing purchase and accumulation of the number of vehicles,
      promoting car pooling
      the point about ‘gaps in laws’ was very good.
      very good HW…. have u done any special efforts to write like this or is it the way u write from childhood?

      • Axi Tak

        thanks Arjun, will keep your points in mind.

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