The City of Nawabs and Nizams has grown rapidly in the last decade, turning into a huge whale which has swallowed more than its capacity and now is getting slower, clumsier and low on oxygen every day.
People who have come to Hyderabad from different towns and cities always have a common topic to discuss– the city’s peevish traffic and the suffocating roads. My friend Sampark, a mechanical engineer turned into IT Professional in Hyderabad, says it requires patience and courage to be a bike rider in this city. Frequent traffic jams leave with only options for a two-wheeler driver to either wait for his turn behind a smoking lorry or to bypass it by performing daring stunts. Though jams are not the only reasons for rash driving but it finds its deep roots in the “nawabi” attitude of youngsters, including careless bus drivers and high headed motorists. As per Andhra Pradesh Road Safety Authority (APRSA), most of the road mishaps are due to the behaviour pattern of the young on the road. The latest road accidents report shows that two-wheelers account for most traffic violations in the city and a large chunk of violators are teenagers or those in their 20’s.
It is still more difficult to imagine the pains of a four-wheeler owner who is returning home after spending most of his day in office and gets stuck in the evening rush hours. Ironically, the same evening hours are discounted as Happy Hours in various pubs all over the the city. And when these Happy hours perform their magic while people drive their way back home things often turn catastrophic.
Fortunately, Hyderabad traffic police has now found ways to at least deal with tipsy drivers. Use of latest breath analyzers for measuring ‘Blood Alcohol Content’ is proving to be the game changer. With increased surprise checks in nights, a significant reduction in road accidents has been achieved as reported by Hyderabad traffic police. Police personnel are also evolving strategies like stationing spotters at by-lanes for those avoiding main roads and identifying facial features of the intoxicated persons to ensure faster traffic movement.
With these ongoing strategies to enforce traffic rules great efforts are also needed towards achieving better coordination among concerned agencies- police, transport, health and roads and buildings, civic bodies. The city has gone into its urbanization stage quite rapidly and it requires greater responsibilities to be borne by both public bodies and citizens to ensure a smooth ride while the necessary infrastructure including flyovers, public transportation, Metro rail plans are being designed and executed.