India and China are the 2 fastest growing economies in the world with recent economic growth between 8-10%.This has led to a fast rise in the per capita income of the citizens of these countries making an automobile affordable for large sections of the population.With low automobile density,the potential for automobile growth in this industry is huge.China has already overtaken USA as the largest car market in the world and India has become the fastest growing major market.However the Road Infrastructure is proving to be woefully inadequate in both of these countries.While China has invested huge sums into Infrastructure,the Automobile Growth has been even faster leading to serpentine traffic jams.A Massive Traffic Jam stretching more than a Hundred Kms has been reported between the Inner Mongolia province and Beijing.While this has managed to gather huge global media attention,the daily traffic problems suffered by city dwellers has been neglected.India and China suffer from Crippling Traffic Jams as Road Infrastructure fails to keep up with Exponential Car Growth
China’s monster traffic jam has reared its head again, with trucks and cars backed up for up to 18 miles (30 kilometers) Saturday on a highway north of Beijing, although that is a third the size of what it was.The traffic jam came four days after the break-up of an even bigger one — stretching to 60 miles (100 kilometers) at one point.
Traffic jams are part of daily life in China’s major cities, with vehicles moving at a crawl in parts of Beijing for most of the day.In the last traffic jam on the Beijing-Tibet highway, which started Aug. 14 and lasted about 10 days, state media said some drivers were stuck for five days with drivers on the worst-hit stretches passing the time sitting in the shade of their immobilized trucks, playing cards, sleeping on the asphalt or bargaining with price-gouging food vendors.
Indian Cities have become Traffic Hells
Indian Cities are in general totally unorganized with drivers being scant attention to traffic rules.Space constraints make most cars park illegally as there are no garages.In India’s Capital Delhi,it is a common sight to see fight between neighbours for parking spaces.Some of these fights have even led to murders and jail terms.Road Rage has become common malaise as nobody follows traffic rules and jams stretch on for hours.Indian cities are seeing a huge influx of cars on a daily basis with little expansion in road infrastructure.Sick people are known to have died in traffic jams as ambulances can’t navigate the serpentine jams.With the Indian government have no rules or policies to deal with the problem,even worse days are expected.Solutions like putting congestion taxes on sales of new vehicles,restriction on single use cars etc.are totally absent.There have been proposals of restricting car ownership to people who already have garages in states like Mizoram but most states have no rules or ideas to control the traffic hell the cities have become.Note India sees thousands of fatalities every year due to traffic related incidents.
Sunset or sunrise, you ride into hell. Stories like these are part of today’s Indian urban legends; in Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Kanpur and Coimbatore, traffic jams kill people in marooned ambulances, desperate mothers are stuck on the way to pick up their children from school, candidates don’t make it to job interviews, passengers miss important flights and security forces fail to reach in time to handle terror, as happened during the Akshardham attack of 2002. These are the street signs of an urban India in collapse; unplanned growth, corruption and above all the aspirational compulsion to buy more and more cars. Reports have the unbroken record for the world’s slowest mover held by Archie, winner of the 1995 World Snail Racing Championship; he took a mere two minutes to cover a 13-inch circular course at a speed of 2 m an hour.