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More May Not Be Merrier! Cheaper Fuel Can Spark Traffic Snarls

The number of vehicles running on the economical fuel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), has increased dramatically in India. But, along with that, traffic bottlenecks also have increased. According to figures released by the Union Ministry of Petroleum, the estimated number of vehicles running on compressed natural gas in Delhi and NCR was over 4.5 lakh, including 14000 buses, 2.1 lakh cars and 1.1 lakh autos in 2010.

Delhitraffic

(Pic: guardian)

Today, more than 30 per cent of the cars in Delhi are running on CNG. The cost of running a petrol car varies from Rs 3 to 6 per km (averaging at Rs 4.5 per km) depending upon the size and fuel efficiency of the car, whereas the cost of running a CNG car varies from Rs 1.5 to 2 per km (averaging Rs 1.75 per km).

Further, the cost of running a two-wheeler is around Rs 1 per km considering an average mileage of 60kmpl. The CNG cars are 2-3 times cheaper than their petrol counterparts and the two wheelers are around five times cheaper than petrol cars.

It has been reported that the enormous increase in the CNG car fleet has increased the problem of traffic congestion and, in effect, reduced the average speed of road traffic. The travel time by buses has increased so people are opting for CNG cars to travel faster, which is further causing the problem of traffic congestion.

The city is trapped in this vicious cycle of increase in CNG cars. The rate of road accidents is also increasing with an increase in the number of vehicles on road. According to the National Crime Records Bureau Report of 2009, there were 7614 road accidents in 2009, which resulted in 2027 deaths.

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