As urban population has increased in the last few decades to the current urbanization level of 31%, most of the cities have gone under stress in terms of quality infrastructure and services. Cities contribute about 63% share to the national income. In this context a robust urban transport is of paramount importance for making urban infrastructure framework efficient. Some of the common urban transport issues in Indian cities are increasing congestion on roads, growth in number of vehicles, limited space for road expansion, non-availability of public transport, underutilization of public transport, declining importance of nonmotorized modes, high levels of pollution, increasing rate of road accidents. A national level policy is present to guide towards possible solutions to the issues mentioned above and to strengthen the urban transport infrastructure of cities.
Importance of transportation network in cities
“Transportation is often referred to as the “lifeblood of cities” because it provides the essential link among activities and, in the long run, to a large extent, it helps shape the city”and also helps in city branding. “ (Vuchic, 1999)”. It plays crucial role in achieving development objectives. It has a considerable contribution to the economy, industries, society and cultural development of a country. In 2007, sector’s contribution to the nation’s G.D.P. was about 5.5 percent, with lion’s share of road transportation. In a developing country like India rate of growth is two to four folds the rate of economic growth. “In 2009, the country reported 121.63 million registered motor vehicles, a motorization rate of 22 vehicles per 1000 population” “ (SHARMA, et al., July 2011)”.
India being a diverse nation in terms of geography transport plays an important role in transportation of natural resources and its equitable distribution in the country irrespective of the location. Transportation in India is achieved by modes like
- Water ways
Although railway has a major share in county’s G.D.P., but roads working as veins of the economy links production center to the consumption center, villages to towns and playing the prerequisite role in achieving sustained and balanced development. In this context
- Linking market centers
- Education centers
- Commercial facilities
To the residential roads merit the highest priority.
Mobility and effect on development in surrounding areas
Mobility and development are interrelated phenomenon. Transport is essential in achieving development of individuals and use of resources. An effective and competent transport framework makes it workable for the mobilization of men and materials amongst different regions and makes large scale production possible. Presence of traffic island helps in increasing the mobility for pedestrians. The development of important sectors of the economy such as industry, agriculture, mining, forestry etc. depends upon the efficient transport network. An efficient transport network also facilitates international trade, which is vital for the economy of a developing region. The requirements of transportation are so heavy that no form of transport efforts can be neglected. Most advanced countries are standing examples of the harmonious development of all forms of transport.
The reality that emerges is that without an efficient transport network, the region shall continue to remain isolated, unseen and unheard. Transportation encompasses a broad set of policy variables, and the planning and development of transportation facilities generally raises living standards and enhances the aggregate of community values.
Engineers and planners also recognize that most transportation issues can be characterized by
- Great size
Like the country, the city of Varanasi is experiencing massive and rapid urbanization and has reached to the level of million plus populace cities. The travel demand is increasing in geometric proportion. The liberal automobile manufacturing policy and general increase in income of the people have resulted in phenomenal growth of motor vehicles during the last decade.