FAPCCI-sponsored meet on transport policy reposes faith on an efficient transport system as the solution to the city’s crowded roads

It turned out to be a nostalgic affair for most. The meeting convened by the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) to discuss the ‘Draft Comprehensive Transportation Plan of HMDA’ here on Saturday saw speakers going down the memory lane to recall how free Hyderabad’s roads were some 30 years ago.

“We used to play cricket on the Liberty road but now one can’t think of playing – even at midnight,” said FAPCCI president Srinivas Ayyadevara.

Other participants also recalled similar instances. “But somewhere, we lost the city’s identity and ourselves in the growth,” said V. Madhwaraja, chief engineer, HMDA.

Integrated townships

The programme threw up some practical suggestions on how to tackle the chaotic traffic. A FAPCCI member suggested the development of integrated townships to reduce congestion in the city. At present, 10 per cent of the State population lives in Hyderabad.

Tweak office timings

Sheshadari of Safilguda suggested staggering of office timings to reduce traffic movement on roads and strict implementation of free left turn.

Gabriel Odin, a French national, wanted promotion of the car-sharing concept in Hyderabad. Besides reducing traffic, it benefited everyone, he said.

Rising numbers

Mr. Madhwaraja called for proper planning, given that it took Hyderabad 400 years to grow to a population of 90 lakh. But it would hardly take 30 years to touch the 190 lakh mark.

“In the next three decades, we will add another Hyderabad to the present one,” he said.

Road congestion continued despite flyovers, MMTS, ORR and widening of roads.

There was a limit to the widening of roads. The only answer was the provision of an efficient, affordable and convenient public transport system.

The government had made huge investments, but transport projects had long gestation period, he said.

Mr. Madhwaraja called for curbing unwanted trips in the core area of city. He was against providing parking space in core areas as it would add to the congestion.

Urban planner T.S. Reddy, who is also team leader at LEA Associates South Asia, said the Metro rail was the answer to the burgeoning traffic problem, although there was criticism from some quarters.

Stating that public transport should be optimised, he said a healthy city should have 30 to 40 km per hour of travel.

The movement of goods traffic was expected to rise, with 50,000 vehicles entering and leaving the Hyderabad Metropolitan Area (HMA) every day.

Earlier, Mr. Ayyadevara said the industry and trade should have a hassle free corridor for goods transport and convenient transport for their employees to travel to work place in minimal time.

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