The Government of India had initiated a massive mission of creating Smart Cities across the country. Agra was nominated as one of these cities. A number of government organisations are working to make this mission a success. As always, SPHEEHA has taken the lead to bring all stakeholders under one roof with experts from across the country helping outline the broad vision and possible solution to make Agra a Smart City. There is lot of work to be done. SPHEEHA help its seminar titled ‘Smart Cities, Citizen Science and Eco-Habitat for Sustainable Development’ on December 6, 2015, at the International Hostel Auditorium, DEI (near Prelude Public School) to guide through the work involved in creating Smart Cities bringing subject matter experts from across the country, government officers, Citizens of Agra and SPHEEHA members under a single roof.
Visitors to Agra often complain about the city’s poor traffic management system. Severe traffic congestions on the main as well as arterial roads are everyday occurrences. Tourists, who come to see the Taj Mahal, recount of harrowing experiences on the roads.
Agra is spread over an area of over 4000 sqr km, with the projected population for 2021 to be around 2.3 million. In the last few decades, the city has emerged as a leading centre in western Uttar Pradesh for trade and commerce. Since Agra’s roads were built and expanded organically and periodically without much planning for the future course, traffic load in the city has far exceeded the carrying capacity of roads, leading to traffic jams on the roads for major part of the day.
Besides, the inter-mixing of slow moving and fast moving vehicles are further reducing the travel speed of all vehicles. Other problems like inadequate road width, concentration of major activities in one region, encroachment, dumping of garbage on roadside, improper design of road junctions, inadequate public transport, lack of sidewalks for pedestrians,, parking spaces and dedicated space for hawkers, are adding to the mayhem.
SPHEEHA decided to address these issues by involving all stakeholders through a seminar on ‘Traffic in Agra: The Sustainable Course’ held in November 2014.
A detailed action plan for traffic issues in Agra, developed by a team of IIT-Delhi professors in association with SPHEEHA was released by the Commissioner of Agra, Pradeep Bhatnagar in June 2015