Yet nothing compared to the developed world
While the number of cars on the streets of United States is dropping, Kerala is recording an increase of more than ten per cent in the number of vehicles on the roads.
The number of cars in the United States dropped by four million (two per cent) in 2009. This number is almost equal to the total number of vehicles in Kerala!
Kerala had about 4.02 million vehicles at the end of March 2007 and their number would have crossed the five million mark by now. About 15 per cent of them are cars. So, Kerala or for that matter India is nowhere near the United States regarding the number of vehicles on the roads. Kerala’s car population is only a miniscule compared to those in the developed world. Yet Kerala has reasons to worry about the growing number of cars on the streets.
Road development is becoming increasingly difficult on account of problems in acquisition of land. The NH 47 and NH 17 are proposed to be development with a width of just 45-metres while the national norm is 60 metres. Accidents are increasing in the State on account of poor condition of roads and other factors. More vehicles also mean more pollution.
Before cars become a habit for Keralites like Americans, public transport ought to be developed to satisfactory levels. None would want to travel by the buses of State Road Transport Corporation, it they have afford to have other means for travel. The situation should be changed urgently. In addition, high speed rail corridors and metros ought to be developed fast.