Failure to decongest city centre compounding traffic chaos

The traffic scenario in Mysuru has gone from bad to worse in recent years and it has been attributed to the concentration of all commercial activities at the city centre.

The traffic scenario in Mysuru has gone from bad to worse in recent years and it has been attributed to the concentration of all commercial activities at the city centre.  

Study shows that roads in the Central Business District are saturated in terms of vehicular density

The increase in traffic congestion in the core business area of Mysuru, which has degraded the heritage zone of the city, has been attributed to commercial growth in the city centre to the exclusion of other areas.

In addition, the routing of most KSRTC bus services through the CBD and the construction of two bus terminals within 2 km of each other in the heart of the city has only compounded the problem, according to a study carried out by R. Chandra Prakash, a retired academician and member of the Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP).

He pointed out that the roads in Central Business District (CBD) have been saturated in terms of vehicular density. Also, road width has been expanded to the point where it can no longer be increased and was also adversely affecting businesses, which is the mainstay of the CBD.

Citing the report on Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Plan for Mysore in 2008 brought out by the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT), Government of Karnataka, for Mysore for 2009-2028, he said the report had called for rerouting services so as to obviate the need for all buses to enter the CBD and thus reduce vehicular and public congestion. “But the KSRTC ignored these observations and went on to build large new city bus station at K.R. Circle, as also the suburban bus station on Bengaluru-Nilgiri Road which has contributed to growing degradation of the core area of Mysuru,” he added.

He said nearly 600 buses operate from the city bus station and more than 1 lakh passengers embark and disembark here every day. Besides, more than 2,000 buses arrive and leave suburban bus station which handles around 2 lakh passengers and what is worse, both stations are located close by and hence it is not surprising that the city centre is choking.

While the KSRTC ignored the DULT recommendations, the Mysuru-Nanjangud Master Plan 2031 allowed higher Floor Area Ratio in commercial centres which fostered denser growth. “FAR and Zoning Regulations to decongest the city was ignored and the already high-density growth areas in the heart of Mysuru witnessed more congestion leading to its degradation,” he added.

Reports ignored

The ‘boom years’ in Mysuru in terms of explosion in vehicular traffic during 2007 to 2017 also coincided with plethora of traffic studies most of which had recommended decentralisation of commercial activity and relocation of the main bus stand to decongest the city centre.

As per statistics from the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) as on September 30, 2017, the city is said to have had 8,65,159 vehicles registered, though it is generally believed that the official figures are underestimated, according to Mr. Prakash.

The bulk of the registration of the vehicles currently plying in the city took place between 2007 to 2017. But what is interesting is that very same ten-year period was also which saw the emergence of several reports with their recommendations implementing what could have prevented the present chaos.

These include the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Plan for Mysore and the report on Deployment of Intelligent Transport System (ITS). But they were ignored and hence it was an opportunity lost for Mysuru, said Mr. Prakash.

The Mysuru-Nanjangud Master Plan 2031 skimmed the surface of the problem without any recommendation and its suggestion of increasing the floor area ratio in the commercial centres aggravated the crisis by adding to growth in an already dense area.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 3:12:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/failure-to-decongest-city-centre-compounding-traffic-chaos/article24188140.ece

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