Looking beyond Telangana’s SRDP

Telangana government started an ambitious program to improve traffic situation in Hyderabad.This program is titled Strategic Road Development Program, or SRDP. Accomplishing the challenging goal requires a plan with key steps.

How is SRDP intended to be implemented?

SRDP identifies the following steps to achieve this goal.

  • Identify and expand strategic roads in the city which take maximum traffic
  • Build flyovers wherever possible on the strategic roads
  • Construct pedestrian bridges to enable free movement of people

More details of this plan and the cost involved are highlighted in following article – http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/Rs-83000-Crore-Needed-to-Make-Hyderabad-a-Global-City-KTR/2016/03/22/article3340100.ece

What is wrong with SRDP?

While SRDP is an extremely forward looking initiative, the Government has misjudged few key aspects of such large scale programs. These aspects will invariably create a disastrous impact on SRDP.

srdp

  • A flyover in India takes 18 to 36 months to construct. Now, if 10 flyovers are planned at the same time, this time will increase further. SRDP already has the challenges of land acquisition. The current TRS government will not be able to inaugurate more than 4 flyovers before 2019 elections but would have caused enough troubles to commuters and thus mistrust on TRS by 2019
  • Cost of these projects is running into 1000’s of crores of rupees. Where will the Government get these funds from? Each project under this program costs few 100 crores. TRS government has to cut down on fund allocations to other programs. But remember, Chandrababu Naidu lost 2004 elections primarily because his focus was more on Hyderabad and not rest of the state

What should be done instead?

Roads in India are notoriously bad and can hardly handle one monsoon season in most places. Hyderabad is no different. It is an yearly ritual where all roads, strategic or otherwise, get completely destroyed during rains causing severe hindrances to traffic flow. During the non-monsoon months, the condition of roads is no better. What Hyderabad and Telangana needs is for SRDP to be re-purposed as TAWeRP – Telangana All Weather Roads Program. It is such a shame that Indian roads cannot withstand much wear and tear. TAWeRP is a realistic and time bound program that will put Telangana as the state with the best roads in this country. TRS government will have a lot to take credit for. The program itself is an ever expanding one and there will considerable progress to be shown in as little as every 3 months.

So, how does TAWeRP work?

  • In the key cities of this state, identify sub-zones where concrete roads will be laid out. This ensures multiple parts of the state gain from world class roads
  • Concrete roads cost about 1 crore/KM. With as little as a 1,000 crore budget, TRS government can convert 1,000 KMs of road in various parts of the state into concrete ones
  • Traffic junction improvements are also part of this program thus speeding up the movement of vehicles at these major bottlenecks
  • The local leaders will have a lot to take credit for since there is will be measurable progress made, frequently, in all parts of the state

tawerp

Will TAWeRP get rid of the bottlenecks completely at junctions? Definitely not. But TAWeRP will bring our roads back into shape the way they should be in.

Conclusion

Citizens of this state deserve far better roads than what they have to deal with daily. Flyovers are required, but before that, revamp the road infrastructure first. This is a golden chance for TRS government to change the face of infrastructure in Telangana. Remember Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be remembered forever for NHDP Golden Quadrilateral program. This is TRS opportunity to do the same. They just have to get the priorities right. SRDP is doomed and will never see the light of the day. It will just suck TRS into an abyss that will make it impossible for them to handle elections in 2019.

Image source – Deccan Chronicle

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