Can Agra, The City of Taj Mahal Cope With The Traffic Chaos?
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Can Agra, The City of Taj Mahal Cope With The Traffic Chaos?

Agra, the City of Taj Mahal, is annually visited by millions of tourists from India and abroad.

Brail Khandelwal

AGRA || In the past three decades, Agra has grown considerably both in size and population, with nearly 2 million people residing currently in an area of 300 sq km. Besides, a substantial floating population of tourists, students, and workers also exists here. It is a sad tale that the pace of growth in the city is not matching with the infrastructural expansions and capacity building.

Says environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya, “the incrementing imbalance is putting greater stress on the environment, the consequences of which are now clearly visible at different levels. Like many other Indian cities, traffic management has become the most challenging task in Agra. With a rapid increase in the number of vehicles, the traffic load in the city has already exceeded the carrying the capacity of roads, leading to congestion/jam on most of the roads for major part of the day.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the traffic volume is not that high but once normalcy returns, there is again bound to be chaos all around.

Experts are of the opinion that the prevailing conditions of streets in Agra and the associated safety aspects, need to be upgraded to promote a high quality of life and liveability. The city must have a heart. It’s a sad reality that the fatality rate due to accidents on roads is one of the highest in the country, says KC Jain, secretary Agra Development Foundation.

The road environment needs to be redesigned and made much safer to bring down the fatality rate.

Activist Shravan Kumar Singh says that the roads need to be designed for the people and not for the vehicles. “Only if we can develop safe streets, we would be able to design the complete and all-inclusive streets for all types of road users and modes of vehicles. While promoting sustainable road safety, our priorities should lie on vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.” Road users need safety and clean air. If visual ambiance is good, all the better, Singh added.

Experts in urban planning feel this is the right time to take firm steps to redesign streets and roads and shift some congested urban clusters.

The prevailing conditions of streets in Agra and the associated safety aspects need to be upgraded to promote a high quality of life and livability in this city. It’s a sad reality that the fatality rate due to accidents on roads is one of the highest in the country, says KC Jain, activist, and secretary Agra Development Foundation.

The road environment in the city needs to be redesigned and made it safer to lower the fatality rate. “Our roads have to be designed for people and not for vehicles,” says activist Anand Rai.

Siddharth Mishra, a prominent member of the NGO, SPHEEHA, says while promoting sustainable road safety, our focus of attention should be the vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists. “To deliver high-quality design for various street typologies, in synchronization with international best practices and Indian policies would be a major challenge,” Mishra added.

The News Agency
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