In the wonderland of sustainable mobility

We are in a strange world where the word sustainable mobility has assumed a multitude of interpretations. Mobility is stuck so much to a passenger car that as common citizens, we have stopped thinking any differently.  

Let us try and examine some realities... 

Even in large cities, more than half the trips happen on foot, bicycles and public transport. Most of the road, probably more than 80% is occupied by private cars, accounting for just one passenger per car. The investment in good roads, and flyovers etc., specifically in cities, is the largest chunk of development budgets.

If we need sustainable mobility, we need to look at several parameters for more comprehensive understanding of the problem:

0. First think of whether you need to move at all

Highway Safety Challenges in India: Understanding road crash patterns and way forward

The Global Status of Road Safety report (GSRRS, 2023) by the World Health Organisation has reported a reduction in road traffic deaths globally. There were an estimated 1.19 million road traffic deaths in 2021 – a 5% drop when compared to the 1.25 million deaths in 2010.  However, RTIs have continued to increase in India, with 1,68,491 deaths reported in 2022, an increase of 9% from 2021 (MoRTH, 2023). Thirty six percent of these fatalities were reported on National Highways (NH), 24% on State Highways (SH) and 39% on other roads. The proportion of RTC on NH, SH and other roads have remained unchanged since the road network in India was 63.32 lakh km in March 2019.

Five essential ways to enhance shared mobility

Shared mobility plays a pivotal role in the transportation landscape of Indian cities, addressing the diverse needs of their residents. Shared mobility includes vehicles that operate on a sharing basis, such as shared auto rickshaws, or the more recent “aggregator” models such as Uber/Ola. This article talks about the shared mobility that operates without an aggregator platform. Shared mobility is sometimes also called ‘informal public transport’ or ‘intermediate public transport’. These terms are indicative of the role and their importance as a mode of public transport.

Pune’s ESR report overlooks the most crucial problem faced by Punekars, the city road traffic!

On 27th July, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) published a report of vital importance; “Environment Status Report (ESR), 2022-23”. And on the 9th of August, Punekars organized the #ChaloPMC protest, demanding better civic facilities. Concerned citizens, both individuals and groups, mohalla committee members and members from civil society organizations took an active part. 

But one question that arises is this; are citizens well-informed about the latest developments, policies, and initiatives related to environmental conservation? The answer to this becomes crucial, as informed citizens are better equipped to contribute meaningfully to the cause they are passionate about. In today's world, where the impact of human activities on the environment is becoming increasingly evident, there is a growing community of concerned citizens who strive to make a positive difference. But the lack of knowledge and awareness in policy developments can hinder the effectiveness of the movement and limit the impact it can make. This article addresses one such gap in knowledge and strengthens the position of concerned citizens, by reviewing the annual Environment Status Report (ESR), 2022-23 of Pune.