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100 years on and Delhiites aren~t traveling any faster, finds out a Star News team

23-May-2008
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100 years on and Delhiites aren~t traveling any faster, finds out a Star News team

Delhi today boasts of an efficient Metro system, then there is the controversial BRT corridor, low-floor buses, some of the swankiest cars on the roads, and wide, mostly well-maintained roads. One would think that traveling in India’s Capital would be smooth. Think again.

An average Delhi citizen spends nearly five years of his life traveling on the roads, stuck in traffic jams. Delhi has the highest vehicular population in India and the traffic situation has been going from bad to worse.

The Automobile Association in London had conducted a study, which proved that traffic in Central London today moved at the same speed as traffic on a horse carriage moved a hundred years ago. Star News set out to investigate whether the same holds for Delhi.

Three Star News correspondents traveled on common routes in Delhi. Atir Khan traveled from Shalimar Bagh to Connaught Place; Anurag Muskan traveled from Vasant Kunj to Connaught Place and Swapnil Saraswat traveled from Dwarka to Connaught Place.

And guess what they found – it takes longer to travel in Delhi today than it did a hundred years ago on horse!

These journeys were mapped and timings noted. A hundred years ago, there was hardly any traffic on the roads. To simulate conditions similar to those, the same journey was undertaken by horses at night. The horses followed the exact same route as the cars earlier in the day. In all three cases the horses took less time to complete the journey than the cars before them.

The journeys

1) Vasant Kunj to Connaught Place (via Vasant Vihar)
Distance covered: 18 km
Time taken by car at 9.10 am: 1.25 hours
Time taken by horse at 10.15 pm: 1 hour

The horse reached 25 minutes earlier

2) Shalimar Bagh to Connaught Place
Distance covered: 24 km
Time taken by car at 8.50 am: 1.50 hours
Time taken by horse at 10.00 pm: 1.25 hour
The horse reached 25 minutes earlier

3) Dwarka to Connaught Place
Distance covered: 22 km
Time taken by car at 8.50 am: 1.20 hours
Time taken by horse at 10.00pm: 1.15 hour
The horse reached five minutes earlier

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