Hyderabad: A population explosion of a different kind is happening in Hyderabad. The once laid back city is witnessing a real loud boom in the number of vehicles, both private and public, with the last seven years recording a stunning growth of 75 per cent. The vehicle population of Hyderabad, which was 16.72 lakh in 2010, has reached 28.28 lakh by October this year, with officials expecting the figure to touch 30 lakh by the year end.
As on October 9, there are about 28,28,406 vehicles registered in the Hyderabad region of the Road Transport Authority. Bring in the outskirts and the suburbs that fall under the Greater Hyderabad region, and the figure shoots up to 45 lakh vehicles, which is poised to touch 50 lakh soon, according to RTA officials.
Of the 28 lakh, 10.2 lakh are private vehicles, comprising 8.32 lakh motorcycles and 1.88 lakh cars. Officials say that on an average, around 2 lakh vehicles were added every year since 2010. With 96,06,185 vehicles in the State, Hyderabad alone accounts for more than one-fourth of the figure. Every day, more than 800 new vehicles are being registered in the city, explaining the never ending, daylong chaos on the streets of the capital.
Currently, there are only 3,800 buses and 129 Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) services in the Greater Hyderabad region for a population of over one crore. As a result, people are depending on their own modes of transport, which in turn has spurred the growth in vehicle population, officials say.
“Public transport is not able to keep pace with the increase in the population, which is why people are depending on Ola, Uber, other taxi services and private vehicles. Eventually, vehicles have been growing every year by 15 per cent,” says J Pandurang Naik, Joint Transport Commissioner.
“The road network has expanded very slowly, and is unable to cater to the needs of the population. From 2002, there has been a drastic increase in number of vehicles, with the advent of Hitech City and the overall expansion of the city,” he adds.
Hyderabad, as of now, holds the fifth position in terms of vehicle population, with Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai topping the list. If the number of vehicles in the Greater Hyderabad region is considered, Hyderabad will surpass Mumbai, officials say. The arrival of the Hyderabad Metro Rail, they feel, could ease the situation, with the public getting a new mode of public transport, they add.
Two-wheelers on top
Owning a car was not everyone’s cup of tea a few years back. Not anymore, with the number of cars in the city shooting up from 2.71 lakh in 2010 to 4.59 lakh in 2017. However, two-wheelers continue to dominate the roads with a population of 20.26 lakh.
No space for commuters
The steep rise in the number of private vehicles in Hyderabad has left little space for commuters in the city roads. As a result, traffic gridlocks at almost all the major thoroughfares have become a common sight. Traffic jams infuriates all and it’s not easy to wade through the heavy traffic after putting in back breaking hours at the office. Quite often, such situations lead to instances of road rage, panic attacks, angry flare-ups, leaves many agitated angry and tired. Travelling on city roads is difficult and quite often one ends-up totally stressed-out and anxious.
“By the time commuters reach home, they get irritable, angry and tend to react extremely over trivial issues. This kind of behaviour impacts personal and professional life. The worst part is that hardly anybody realises or recognises it,” says Dr. K Harish Chandra Reddy, Neuro Psychiatrist, Sahara Mind Clinic, Kukatpally.