The last three months have seen as many as 69,194 new vehicles hitting the roads in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad at a whopping average of 768 vehicles a day.
The alarmingly high rate of increase in vehicular population,revealed by RTOs registration data,is being attributed to poor public transport system and the rising propensity among parents to buy two-wheelers for their wards.
Over the years,there has been a consistent rise in the number of vehicles in both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad,spelling further trouble for the already traffic-weary commuters in Pune.
In the period between April 1 and June 30,2012,about 44,125 new vehicles were added to the vehicle population in Pune,of which 32,180 were two-wheelers and 10,187 were four-wheelers.
During the same period,25,069 new vehicles were registered with the Pimpri-Chinchwad RTO office,including 18,110 two-wheelers and 4,972 four wheelers.
According to RTO,Pune city currently hosts 4,31,831 four-wheelers and 18,83,965 two-wheelers. Pimpri-Chinchwad,on the other hand,has 1,63,498 four-wheelers and 79,7111 two-wheelers. The data shows that the while the number of two-wheelers has doubled since 2007,when it was 38,86,39 and four-wheelers have tripled from 53,549.
Data released by the Directorate of Census Operations of Maharashtra last year had showed that the Pune had surpassed even Mumbai (Mumbai central and Mumbai suburban district) in the number of households using four-wheelers for commuting.
Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrian First,who said that the rate of increase in the number of vehicles in the city was shockingly high,attributed it to the failed system of public transport and non-motorised ways of transport becoming unfashionable.
Currently,the situation in the city is such that two-wheelers and four-wheelers are considered as a basic modes of transport. Earlier,this wasnt the case,when walking,cycling and public transport was largely used for the purpose,with private vehicles being used by only those who had a workplace located in a far-off or in a not-so-well-connected area. Moreover,there is a new trend among the parents of youngsters buying their children two-wheelers once they come of a certain age like get admitted to college. This is what has added to the increased vehicular traffic in the city, said Inamdar.
Other civic activists also voiced the same opinion,stating that the increased number of vehicles in the city was certainly one of the factors which lead to frequent traffic jams on the city roads. The number of vehicles in the city are increasing at an alarming pace and has contributed to traffic congestion in the city along with other factors such as bad traffic management,ill-designed junctions and undisciplined traffic, said a civic activist.
But the RTO has a different take. I do not think that increase in number of vehicles is the reason for traffic jams and other problems. Having a personal vehicle has become a necessity in Pune. To lessen the traffic,what we require most is augmentation of public transport. Currently,the public transport is limited to buses. We need more such modes of public transports like better local train connectivity,metros etc. Secondly,with the city limits expanding due to development of the city,more and more people are travelling in and out of the city. But the bus connectivity is yet to catch up with the growing demand. Hence,better and regular public transport should be there for lessening traffic woes, said Arun Yeole,RTO.