Traffic Jam, losing 15 years for 15 minutes

Traffic Jam menace, losing 15 years of life due to 15 minutes stuck everyday

The other day I was stuck in traffic jam as usual like everyone gets stuck. Nothing amazing about it and had stupid radio jerking out Main Hoon Hero Tera and some other shit. No point on talking on that. The point that flashed to my mind from the movie ‘Margin Call’ was how much time and nation resources are wasted in this traffic jam.

Lets have a bit of context, I was stuck on a road called Satara Road, Pune. The road is large road, howver, some idiots at the Pune Municipal Corporation thought lets convert a 6 lane road into 2 lane road. So, th3 6 lane road is converted into following:

  1. Lane # 1: Walking track (who walks in Carbon Monoxide traffic, was the question that came to my mind)
  2. Lane #2: Cycle track
  3. Lane #3: One more foot-path
  4. Land # 4 and 5: Driving track
  5. Lane #6: Converted to BRTS track (might say BRTS, PUNE is a case paper on epic failure and traffic congestion)

So, I was standing at a signal for ~30 minutes and with me about 100 odd people, the reason was that people came from 4 lanes to 2 lanes.

Estimating nations loss:

People stuck in traffic Nos 1 50
Time lost in traffic congestion Minutes per jam 15 15
Minute Total minutes 15 750
Hours Per Day Hours 0.25 13
Hours per Annum Days 91 4,563
No. of years lost Years 0.25 12.50
No. of traffic jams per city Jams 1 10
Total loss from one city Years 0.25 125


So, as per the above table for 1 person stuck in traffic jam 15 minutes each day say at 1 traffic jam costs him 3 months per year. So, if average life expectancy is ~60 years, then this translates to ~180 months of 15 years. I fail to understand why the policy makers do not understand these basic facts.

Either the IAS officers taking decision are incapable of seeing big picture or the elected representative we have put out are totally brainless who are more interested in a 10% to 20% kickback in any project.

Fact is, that post this realization, I did some google search and turns out there are multiple studies which state the obvious i.e. loss in fuel, loss of time etc. However, the loss is more than monetary loss, it’s the loss of TIME, which is more important. Some facts from articles in press and my take on the numbers

  • In fact, there was an article published which stated “According to a recent study conducted by the Transport Corporation of India and IIM (Kolkata), India faces a loss of Rs 600bn ($10.8bn) a year due to congestion, slow speed of freight and waiting time at toll plazas.” This is toll plaza loss.
  • There was an article published in 2009 in Time of India, which stated that Delhi alone losses ~INR 11.5 cr., in traffic jam per day i.e. INR 4200 cr., lost per annum or say over 6 years (time taken to enhance the infrastructure) would be INR 25,200 cr. from 1 city.
  • In fact, INR 4200 cr., per city and multiply by say top 10 cities in India would be ~INR 42,000 cr., of loss in one year; while the direct tax collection in India is ~INR 167,000 cr., so this loss from 10 cities stands at ~25% of the direct tax collection.
  • This would further translate into a fact that enhancing infrastructure and reducing this loss should lead us to lower taxation as this would amount of say less fuel consumption and reduce the import bills. In fact say achieving a 50% reduction in the amount would tantamount to ~12.5% reduction in overall taxation.

So, the people in the nation would be happy, if I am not mistaken.

The talks of Smart City and all are fine, but they are extremely long term SEEDS which will bear fruits in ~10 to 15 years. The government needs to come up a detailed plan to removing / cleaning the traffic mess from cities to ensure there is a smooth flow of men, machines & money. Come up with better flyovers and be TIME BOUND in execution.


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