Few takers for CSE presentation on choked Delhi roads

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (UNI) As hundreds of thousands of people lined up to have a look at Tata's mini marvel 'Nano' among other vehicles, there were few takers for a presentation on traffic jams in Delhi's choked roads apparently organised for the visitors of the ongoing Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan here.

Organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) just opposite the gate number two of Pragati Maidan here to ''get a taste of the real'', the Auto Expo visitors seemed less enthusiastic about the presentation.

The presentation, titled Hard Times, is about what the people of Delhi have to say about frequent and long traffic jam, terming it as ''strongest flavour of mobility''.

''Increasingly, our collective automobile experience is ending with a traffic jam. Delhi is stuck,'' says a statement by the CSE.

However, the people of Delhi seem to be less caring about the presentation and too pre-occupied with the Auto Expo where Tata's small car 'Nano' was unveiled on Thursday.

The car, which carries a price tag of Rs one lakh, has attracted the world attention.

A fruit seller, when asked about the huge screen on the other side of the road, said ''some channel people have installed it on the Auto Expo''.

The CSE says thousands of people would be visiting the Auto Expo, looking for their next bigger car.

''Thousands more would be looking for their first cars, most likely the smallest variety. We can expect a few more million private cars on Delhi roads in coming years. It is time for a reality check,'' it said.

The NGO says there are 1.5 million private cars on Delhi's roads today and three million two-wheelers, a lot of which would convert into cars, but only 6,800 buses.

''Delhi adds 41 vehicles every hour to its fleet; 31 per cent of these are private cars. The past five years have seen a 43 per cent increase in vehicles, and only nine per cent in road space.

Already 20 per cent of Delhi's land area is devoted to roads.

Only ten per cent has green cover.'' The CSE further says that while a car pays only Rs 400 a year as tax a bus is charged Rs 13,000.

''Private cars take up 75 per cent of the road space while buses get only eight per cent. Similarly, private transport carries only 20 per cent of Delhi's passengers while buses carry 61 per cent.

''More roads and flyovers are not the answer,'' says the CSE.

UNI AG MSJ RK1120

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