In Mumbai, cars and bikes constitute 86% or 17.45 lakh vehicles but carry just 13% of the load while 40,600 buses account for 26% of the trips, reveals a report by a High Powered Committee. This highlights the need for more public transport, especially buses in the city
The High Power Committee (HPC) formed under the chairmanship of Dr Amitabh Rajan, additional chief secretary of home department says while two-wheelers and four-wheelers have a vehicle share of about 86% (about 17.45 lakh), they carry only 13% of the total trips across Mumbai. At the same time, just 40,600 buses account for 26% of the modal share of trips in the city. This shows the dire need to have a sophisticated bus system in the city that can reduce the number of cars from the congested roads.
Mumbai, the home to over 1.30 crore people, faces severe crunch of public transport facilities. While the suburban railway network carries over 75 lakh commuters every day, there still is a need for more buses, says the report of the Committee set up by home ministry following directions from the Bombay High Court.
According to the report, Mumbai continues to have high usage of public transport, courtesy the local rail network. As per the modal share of trips, excluding walking trips, local trains account for 52%, buses account for 26%, auto-rickshaws account for 7%, taxis account for 2%, two-wheelers account for 8% and only 5% of the modal share is by cars.
“Relatively sharp increase in car modal share in the last decade has pushed Mumbai into a situation of a grid-lock,” the report says.
As of March 2012, there were 20.3 lakh vehicles registered in Mumbai. Two-wheelers accounted for 55.7%, four-wheelers accounted for 30.6%, auto rickshaws accounted for 5.5%, buses accounted for 0.5%, trucks, lorries and delivery vans accounted for 3.9% and other vehicles accounted for 3.8%.
According the Committee, the rapid growth in motorisation is the main reason for traffic congestion in the city, while the number of vehicles is growing; the road network has not changed much in past four-decades.
On an average 450 new vehicles are being added to the road network each day. As the number of vehicles increase day by day (with the growth in the last decade alone being 88%), the travel times have also increased. In addition, more than one lakh vehicles per day enter or leave Mumbai area adding more load to an already strained system, the report says.
"This rapid growth in motorisation is surprising despite problems of traffic and parking and can be explained by the income growth of a highly aspirational population coupled with the extreme saturation in public transport. Regulatory policy needs to be in place to curtail congestion,” the Committee said.
The Committee has suggested several corrective and remedial measures for ensuring smooth and disciplined vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
According to the Committee, lack of equipment and manpower for enforcement, extreme growth in population and vehicles, lack of proper signage and markings, on-going construction works, parking related issues, need for policy level changes coupled with infrastructure issues and operational difficulties have impacted traffic congestion directly and indirectly.
According to an RTI reply, during 2008-09 to 2012-13, the Press Council closed majority of complaints it received against paid news and misleading ads due to non-pursuance and settlement
The Press Council of India has been closing complaints of “paid news” citing non-pursuance by complainants most of the time while some cases of misleading advertisement were closed after settlement, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal had filed the application. He said, “Both these situations of case-closure because of “non-pursuance” or ‘settlement’ can be the result of still dangerous practice of unethical blackmail—compromise between the complainant and the affected media—body. The Press Council must not close cases once filed with it because of non-pursuance or settlement. Blackmailers unnecessarily harassing media should be booked under some criminal offence in case their complaints are found baseless and frivolous.”
According to the RTI reply, during the last general elections, the Press Council received 17 complaints of paid news from various people and organisations. Out of this, the Council closed nine complaints citing non-pursuance. For the rest, the Council issued warnings to the publications for publishing misleading news, stories and advertisement during 2009-10.
The next year, the Council received just two complaints about paid news. While one complaint was closed citing “outside charter”, the other was closed due to non-pursuance during 2010-11.
Again during 2011-12 the number of complaints increased to 11, out of which just one was closed citing non-pursuance. While one complaint was closed by the Council citing matter sub-judice, in the other nine complaints, it issued mere warnings to the erring publications.
For 2012-13, the Council received nine complaints, out of which five were closed due to non-pursuance, while one was closed citing time bar. Two complaints are still under consideration of the Council.
Similar is the case with misleading advertisements. Between 2008-09 and 2012-13, the Press Council received 38 complaints against alleged misleading ads. In majority of the cases, the Council closed the complaint on non-pursuance, settlement and insufficient ground for an inquiry.
According to Mr Agrawal, the Press Council has not taken cognizance of a media report regarding a stay sought by Om Prakash Chautala, the then chief minister of Haryana, on a TV exposé of the teachers recruitment scam.
“While the Press Council chairperson is dragging himself into jobs not assigned to him like launching pardon-campaigns for selected individuals, the RTI response reveals that the Council has failed in its duty to take cognizance of dragging the media in unnecessarily legal-tangle depriving TV viewers from telecast of eye-opener true episode of “Teachers Recruitment Scam” in Haryana during the regime of Om Prakash Chautala as chief minister,” Mr Agrawal said.
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