Friday, March 7, 2014

Tamil Nadu, 95% increase in car ownership in ten years -- in short -- a mess.

Could Chennai become India’s model green city? | "Inadequate public systems force millions of daily commuters in cities like Chennai — commercial capital of south India — to inch for room in overcrowded buses and trains. Chennai’s busses carry 30 per cent more passengers every day than the international average. More and more affluent commuters abandon the system and take to their own vehicles. Tamil Nadu, Chennai’s home state, has seen a 95 per cent increase in car ownership in the past decade. Short-sighted solutions tend to focus on bridges, flyovers and roads to ease congestion. The trend disproportionately impacts the health and safety of the poor who primarily walk or use public transport. A study in Mumbai found that overall, 44 per cent of the city walks to work, though among the poor, that number jumps to 63 per cent. Still, the ever-expanding number of cars has brought major complications beyond traffic jams: extremely poor air quality and a spike in road accidents has put vulnerable communities those who often live and work on the roadsides at greatest risk."

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