By Diksha Langthasa:
Everyone who has lived in Delhi for even a day has been bitten by the traffic jam bug. Everyone’s experienced it and everyone at one point or another has reached their destinations late by virtue of the traffic jams. And who can forget the times when someone went bonkers and just honked to make you move your vehicle when there was absolutely no possibility. Traffic Jams may be the most frequent social gathering after birthday parties and weddings.
Â This gathering is no exclusive event at one particular place. The most congested roads Delhi lead to commercial areas like CP, Karol Bagh and Chandni Chowk. While in CP it is caused by the overwhelming magnitude of vehicles, in the latter two it is the narrow roads encroachment of road space by street vendors. The solutions that come to your mind would be regulating flow of vehicles where the magnitude is causing the problem and banning street vendors from their own business to prevent encroachment. However, the glitch in these solutions is that both interfere with people’s means of livelihood.
Â Also at a particular time in the year, as Kaveri of SRCC says, almost everyone gets to be a part. That is when it pours cats, dogs and the whole animal kingdom. Roads get clogged with water, one has to move at a snail’s pace and usually either reach their destinations very late or fail to reach at all. It is unfortunate for city dwellers to face this as everyone has responsibilities to handle and deadlines to meet. And such traffic jams just send their day haywire. Where has this been most visible in Delhi? -On the way to the T3 terminal in IGI; Lodhi Road; and, all over Delhi!
Â Another reason would be when protestors take to streets and may also resort to violent practices like torching empty vehicles. The protestors may feel that their cause is more important than anything else and fail to see that people will participate when they support them. The protests that obstructed the flow of traffic include those by Gujjars (Mathura Road, Noida Mor) and Anna Hazare’s fast (Pragati Maidan, North Campus). It is important that they keep in mind that people often have different priorities.
Â And another way we contribute to this phenomenon – well, it is quite known that jay walking though made illegal is still prevalent. Who would take the pains of walking up till the zebra crossing to cross a road when we can do it from anywhere on the road. It is enough for a single jaywalker crossing from the middle of the road and causing vehicles to slow down or stop to let you cross the road to cause congestion during the peak hour. Yet, in our hurriedness, we forget what our actions may cause.
Â Another reason –
Today, the bigger the weddings, the better they are. And that is when jubilant baraatis descend on already crowded streets to celebrate a sacred union. Often during the wedding season(November — January) there are traffic jams in roads in our localities about which all we can do is complain. Why? What about our own baraatis?
Â Traffic jams, as everyone may agree, cause immense wastage of our time. This time, which cannot be regained, that is, a sunk cost, could have been used to do something more valuable than wait in long lines of vehicles just to get to the other side of the road. This may lead to various consequences like missing a flight or train or emergency reaching their destinations late.
Â An ecological consequence is the wastage of fossil fuel while people wait for short periods when it becomes cumbersome to turn the ignition off and on again and again. Also, the amount of emissions due to the longer hours of travel does nothing for the Earth’s or our benefit.
Â Saloni Gupta of Khalsa College adds that traffic jams also supplements to enraging commuters leading to so many incidents of road rage. It is not difficult to imagine what part of traffic jams makes people angrier.
Â Angad Arora, an auto enthusiast, also said that the durability of tyres are effected due to repeated braking and accelerating of vehicles during jams.
Â I think enough reasons have been given to highlight the difficulties caused by traffic jams in our city.