Urbanization and urban transport in India: the search for a policy
Urban population in India has increased significantly from 62 million in 1951 to 285 million in 2001 and is estimated to be around 540 million by the year 2021. In terms of percentage of total population, the urban population has gone up from 17% in 1951 to 29% in 2001 and is expected to increase up to around 37% by the year 2021. Consequently, the number and size of cities have also increased significantly. Although circumstances differ considerably across cities in India, certain basic trends which determine transport demand (such as substantial increase in urban population, household incomes, and industrial and commercial activities) are the same. These changes have placed heavy demands on urban transport systems, demand that many Indian cities have been unable to meet. This paper attempts to highlight the need for a cogent urban transport policy without which there will be ad hoc interventions. Such interventions, apart from not adding up to a comprehensive approach, will result in greater confusion. Furthermore, it emphasizes that if there is no worthwhile public transport, it will still need to be reinvented to promote a better quality of life. The need of the hour is formulation of an urban transport strategy that is both pragmatic and holistic in its approach.
Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): 27 ()
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