Delhi’s congested roadways increase India’s dangerous pollution problem


After decades of traveling on the city’s inadequate highways, office worker Ashok Kumar spends more time than ever stuck in traffic that jams New Delhi’s thoroughfares and pollutes the city. Car exhaust is a crucial contributor to the lethal haze that blankets the skies, particularly in the winter, in the vast megacity of 20 million people, which is frequently dubbed the world’s most polluted capital.
With large queues developing outside the city’s underground metro stations each evening and crammed buses squeezing through clogged highways, Delhi’s patchwork public transit system is straining to keep up with the city’s rising population.
“When I came to Delhi, the air was pure since there were scarcely any autos or motorbikes on the roads,” Mr. Kumar said as he waited for a trip home outside the city’s main bus terminal. Today, though, everyone owns something.
Mr. Kumar commutes to and from his home in Delhi’s outer southern suburbs using commuter buses, private shared taxis, and rickshaws, spending around four hours each day on what he describes as a “gruelling journey.”
Mr. Kumar, who is 61 years old, wants to save up enough money to buy his scooter and avoid traveling every day. He stated, “Few people can afford to waste time on public transit.”
According to government figures, the number of private cars registered in the city has tripled in the last 15 years, with more than 13 million automobiles on the road.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, drivers in Delhi spend 1.5 hours more in traffic each year than drivers in other large Asian cities.


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