Traffic in Rajasthan

Despite being in sync with its history, Jaipur has embraced the better parts of globalisation. It is a city where ancient forts and temples coexist with malls and pubs. Jaipur is a beautiful city where street shopping is as interesting as the plethora of branded outfits.

Jaipur has the best of both worlds - it has the advantages of a big city without the traffic and pollution. However, the Pink City continues to remain on top in terms of road accidents and deaths in Rajasthan.

Jaipur roads turn fatal

From the data obtained from the traffic police, it shows that Jaipur’s rapid urbanisation has ended up in increased road accidents in the city. For instance, in 2014, 98 accidents were registered on Tonk Road (from Tonk Phatak to India Gate, Sitapura). These 98 accidents resulted in 35 deaths and 85 injuries.

At Goshala and Haldi Ghati Marg/Kumbha Marg, alone, out of 13 deaths reported, nearly half or 6 were pedestrians. These spots were identified for implementation of the traffic calming strategies, proposed by a private study. At Purana bypass (Old bypass), more people are getting killed and this stretch has emerged as a new accident spot.

Peak hour accidents rise

More than half of the accidents occur in evening or during early morning hours. The overall accident figures show the horrible condition of Jaipur’s roads. Apart from speeding drivers or malfunctioning vehicles, an in-depth study is required to know the other causes of these accidents. In Jaipur city pedestrians and cyclists are extremely vulnerable to accidents as they are exposed to speeding vehicles on either side of the road.

The vehicular speeds are too high to allow safe passage to pedestrians. One main problem is that such road users are not offered any comfortable and safe crossing options. Even the overall scenario of road safety measures being followed by town developers in other cities are flawed in Jaipur. The motorists don't respect the right of pedestrians on zebra crossings.

Added to this, buses don't stop on marked bus stops. Occasionally the private vehicles are checked for over speeding but enforcement is weak. In Jaipur, motorists are usually blamed for the accidents, whereas the road development authorities remain hidden in the entire process of accident investigation.

The road planners in Jaipur are unaware of the "psychology" of the lay road users. Based on the data, most accidents in Jaipur are not properly investigated. Hence, vulnerable stretches keep recurring in many areas in and around Jaipur as motorists never learn from their past mistakes.

Lack enforcement of traffic rules and woeful shortage of police cadres have led to the dismal situation on Jaipur roads. Jaipur police need to adopt an efficient process of investigating the accident site’s geography and nature. After the road investigation, police need to come out with proper recommendations, without diverting or stopping the traffic movement.

Practically and financially deputing traffic personnel at every point is not possible and one cannot expect road users to follow the traffic signals and rules every time. In any event, the drivers often flout red lights. The aggressive behaviour of vehicles is visible during nights and non-peak hours resulting in severe accidents. Effective compliance with speed and other traffic rules is not possible only by the traffic police.

There is an urgent need to install CCTVs and console systems with adequate traffic police at busy junctions to pull up violators for streamlining the traffic flow. On the other hand, monitoring the accident-prone sites is required to be done through traffic calming strategies to break the speed of vehicles. To prevent road accidents in Jaipur, there is a need for speed breakers as recommended by the Indian Road Congress.

Besides, the zebra crossings have to be strengthened at six crossings in the Pink City to begin with. Such initiatives are inexpensive and easy to build, but city engineers are not interested in carrying out such low cost tasks as there are no 'incentives'. No major city in India can claim to have accident-proof roads.

But at least Jaipur can think and create the enabling environment to arrest the increase in fatalities and accidents.

Jaipur Metro Rail

Jaipur Metro is a rapid transit system in Jaipur. The construction on the mostly elevated part of the first line called Phase 1A comprising 9.63 km of route from Mansarovar to Chandpole Bazaar started on 13 November 2010 and was completed in 2014.

The project's commercial run was delayed from early 2014 to December 2014, and then to April 2015. After receiving safety clearance from Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) in May 2015, Jaipur Metro began commercial service between Chandpole and Mansarovar on 3 June 2015. The Jaipur Metro Rail system is India's sixth metro rail system after those in Kolkata, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Gurgaon and Mumbai.

It is also touted as one of the fastest built metro systems in India. Jaipur Metro is the first metro in India to run on double-storey elevated road and Metro track. There have been a lot of technical slags encountered during the Jaipur Metro implementation. Moreover, the inception of the first phase of Metro Rail took too long in case of Jaipur.

The main reasons for which Jaipur Metro has been welcomed by the residents of Jaipur are:

  • Cheaper alternate for costly transport options. Jaipur has this major drawback of a costly public transport system and hence, there is a crying need for a mass rapid transit facility.
  • Easy inter-connectivity between city and outskirts. This is another long-felt demand achieved by Metro Rail. Though city buses have been serving as a relief for the past many years, yet a Metro connectivity will bring a comfort zone for the public. With airport facility hanging in the outskirts, Metro Rail will provide a faster and cost effective way to board flights on time.
  • Rising convergence of IT firms towards Jaipur.

The city is fast pacing towards being another hub for IT companies. BPOs have already started to grow as clusters in and around Jaipur. As the corporate life will expand at a faster clip, so will be the need to have Metro Rail connectivity.

E-challan a boon for cops

Traffic police officers in Jaipur have been equipped with hand-held devices to streamline the entire challan system being issued to fine traffic violators. On providing a vehicle's registration number to the device, it would instantly provide details of the pending e-challan amounts against it.

Traffic police officers would be able to print e-challans in English on-the-spot and forward it to courts. The device would be connected to a central database using GPRS through which it would be able to search or access data on the basis of the vehicle number, name of the driver, and driver's licence details.

By using this smart device, the police will be able to know the status of the vehicle - whether it is stolen and involved in crime or otherwise. The previous history of the vehicle or the driver in accident, the prosecution history of the vehicle and pending notices of the vehicle will be known by using this digital device.

The introduction of POS terminals in the road traffic police department has multiple returns of investment. This certainly will bring more discipline on the road. All violations will be recorded digitally without causing inconvenience to the violator and the challan will be sent to the concerned directly to violator's address by post.

With the facility of online verification through the police department website, the citizens can just provide their vehicle registration number on the website, know their liabilities and pay them online.