Saturday, June 18, 2016

Myth of SRDP - Reduction of CO2

The proposed Strategic Road Development Project (SRDP) around KBR Park at an exorbitant cost, is being justified by guestimated reduction of CO2 Emissions. According to the Study, reported to have been conducted by concerned Authorities regarding Road Transportation system in Hyderabad City, around 2.5 lakh vehicles are reported to be at the Jubilee Hills Check Post Junction per day, emitting around 107.92 Tonnes of CO2. The Study also reported to have estimated that number of Vehicles is likely to go up to 5.5 Lakhs by 2035 emitting around 456.19 Tonnes of CO2.

Based on the Study, the authenticity of which is not known, State Govt. is reported to have planned construction of Flyovers / Sky-Ways at 6 junctions around KBR Park, with the object of limiting CO2 emissions to 121.01 Tonnes of CO2 by 2035, apart from easing traffic bottle necks. It is also claimed to save 40.59 Crore Ltrs of Fuel by providing Signal-Free Traffic, during the next 20 years

SRDP is Supply Side Management

The Flyovers/SRDP are only “Supply Side Management” of the Traffic, which will have snowball effect on traffic problems / air Pollution. The benefits will not be commensurate with the expenditure /environmental impact involved. As it has proved to be in Hyderabad and Delhi, with building of flyovers /sky-ways by sacrificing the green cover, more and more vehicles are added contributing to more traffic congestion / problems and more air pollution.
The reduced use of public transportation proves that addition in road space is quickly occupied by the increasing vehicular growth and induced travel behaviour In a time when it is extremely easy to own a car. SRDP may prove to be an expensive short term relief , if any.
We Need Demand Side Management

What we need is “Transport Demand Side Management”, so as to suppress volume of Vehicular Traffic on the roads by providing an efficient Mass Transport System and scientific Urban Planning & Development to suppress intra-city commuting. As highlighted in the Vision Document for “Car Free Thursday Initiative” prepared by “Gear Change”, the problem of traffic congestion is not unique to Hyderabad or just India.

In the later part of the 20th century, Cities attempted addressing this by widening roads and building flyovers. However, they soon realized the effect of “induced demand”. Researchers have found a one-to-one relationship between road capacity and amount of traffic, which means that a 20% addition to roads results in a corresponding increase of 20% or more in traffic.

Way Out
As suggested in Vision Document of “Gear Change” certain strategies are to be adopted for “Travel Demand Management”(TDM), by encouraging individuals to alter their Travel Behaviour. Some of them are:

a) “High Parking Fee” representing the value of land occupied will bring down the number of vehicles in use. Case studies of London, Mumbai.

b) “Parking Space Reduction” in Residential, Commercial etc areas is another strategy to be adopted. Case studies of Brooklyn-NewYork State, Tokyo,Vancouver etc

c) Re Purposing Road Space is another strategy to bring down congestion. New York City has implemented multiple road re purposing solutions including converting an 8 lane road into just 3 lanes for cars. Indore BRTS Bus.
All these measures involve No / Low Cost, with Short gestation& High Impact.

Technological Innovations
Before investing huge sums in developing massive infrastructure, we should take into account the technological advances in the offing. Within next 10 years or so, we may not need to own a Car, as it can be called on Phone to any location and driven to the destination. It will change the Cities, because we will need less cars and less parking space. We can transform former parking spaces into Parks. Auto mobile Pollution may go into history with introduction of Electric Cars (Tesla).
Kodak, which had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide in 1998, got bankrupt and disappeared within just a few years. Did we think in 1998 that 3 years later, we would never take pictures on paper film again?

Can we think and plan Traffic Infrastructure required in 2035, taking into account the likely technological advances ?

No comments:

Post a Comment