India is home to 1.324 billion people. Rapid development has been taking place since independence in every sector. Along with it, the population has also seen a significant rise. India covers only 3.287 million km² of land area, a comparatively inadequate amount to accommodate its population. China, the most populated country, has 9.597km² area for 1.324 billion population and USA the third most populated country with 9.834 km² for 323.1 million population. In this regard, the problem which only India faces is the issue of able transport management, something the other two countries do not have to worry about. Despite many changes and developments in the public transport system of India, several aspects are still ridden with inconvenience and problems. The planning for the transport system is faulty. There is heavy demand for railways and roadways but no provisions of proper connectivity. Our current public transport system is old and broken. Many remote areas are not linked to the major regions of the country, and even if they are, all the roads linking them are unfurnished. No daily-basis transport is available to the people living in villages. Indian roads get worse every time it rains. Only a meagre amount of the budget is allocated to repair the roads.
As far as urban areas are concerned, the existing road space faces undue congestion. Traffic is increasing day by day in Indian cities but there is no proportional accommodation in roads to deal with this upsurge. The growing amount of uncontested street traffic is leading to an increase in accident rates, road congestion, and rising levels of air and sound pollution. Additionally, public transport systems are often poorly maintained, which makes it largely inaccessible. Buses are cheap to travel but they are congested and crowded during peaks work hours. Additionally, the current public transport is not friendly to visually impaired and differently abled people. Railways are run on old engine and tracks. There is no hygiene maintained by the public in trains and on platforms. Raising the comfort and accessibility of public transport is based on the action of the government, as well as the citizens of the country. Firstly, the government should give more attention and effort in budget planning for public transport and make sure that the allocated money is used for the right work. The existing road space should be repaired and managed. The management of the public transport should conduct regular checkups and carry out immediate repairs when necessary.
Tackling with traffic should be made a major priority. It should be managed by laying more alternate roads, employing a larger number of traffic enforcers , setting up an adequate number of traffic signals , and ensuring pedestrians and vehicles obey rules and regulations of the road. Giving attention to fares is essential. The poor can only afford public transport. Strengthening the connectivity of public transport, which is comparatively cheaper to afford, will give the poor greater opportunity to access to health care, education, work. Moreover, the transport system should be changed to even make the visually impaired and the differently abled access it. The betterment of public transport will encourage those availing private transports to opt for the former, thereby help keep at bay the grave issue of pollution.
All the developments and changes we make today should be sustainable. Introducing the Smart Public Transport System would be a great innovation in the field of communication. It would make it infinitely convenient for travelers to track vehicles that they want to avail, and even enable them to prioritise on other modes if the regular ones are unavailable. It cannot be denied that the transportation system of any country serves as the roots for its development in several spheres, including the economic, and therefore deserves utmost attention on part of the public as well as the concerned authorities.
-Contributed by Vinitha Reddy
Picture Credits: halaltrip.com