CPPR Chairman, Dr D Dhanuraj comments on the fuel cost and lost man hours caused by potholes and traffic congestion within the city in a news article published in The Times of India.

Potholes in Kochi city will cost vehicle owners a whopping Rs 90 crore in fuel cost and lost man hours during 45 days of festive period, shows an analysis of the traffic pattern of the city.

According to Kochi-based Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), when traffic slows to a crawl on potholed roads it will lead to a daily loss of Rs 2 crore on account of fuel cost and lost man hours.

“Additional fuel cost due to traffic congestion accounts for Rs 1.45 crore and the loss in man hours accounts for Rs 61 lakh. It is assumed that 1.5 lakh vehicles enter Kochi city daily and due to the potholes, the average speed within the city comes down to 6km per hour from 18km per hour in normal times. The city has 75km road within its limits,” said D Dhanuraj, chairman, CPPR.

“Urban Mass Transit Company Ltd (UMTC) had conducted a mobility plan (CMP) and parking master plan for Kochi in 2015 and according to the study, Kochi has an inflow of 1.59 lakh vehicles,” said BV Antony, former deputy transport commissioner.

He said the flyover constructions are to be blamed for the traffic congestion within the city. “We had seen bigger work which was carried out by the Metro, but the congestion was relatively lighter because of efficient planning. They had diverted traffic in a planned manner to avoid big congestions,” he said.

When a road gets congested, vehicles consume more fuel compared to those in clear roads, according to a study by the Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI), New Delhi. It leads to increase in travel time and fuel consumption and thereby adding to total road user cost, said the study.

“Roughly 75% of the total operating cost of a vehicle is its fuel cost and hence, it has a high monetary impact,” said Dr S Velmurugan, principal scientist and former head of traffic engineering and safety division, CSIR-CRRI. “In metropolitan cities like Kochi, you can expect a maximum average speed of 10-15km per hour, because bottlenecks are going to bring down the speed considerably,” he said. “A bad road is a safety issue and results in wastage of fuel,” he said.

So what is the bigger picture? Let us look at the freight transport vehicles segment alone. According to a study conducted in 2015 by the Transport Corporation of India and the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta, India has been losing nearly Rs 97,000 crore in additional fuel costs due to delays annually.

This news article was published in The Times of India on September 7, 2019 click to read

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