Chandigarh, May 3
The citizen-centric decision of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government to change the timings of government offices not only saving electricity but has also led to reduce traffic congestion at a busy Airport Road in Mohali.
This fact came to fore in a study conducted by the Punjab Road Safety and Traffic Research Centre (PRSTRC) to analyse the impact of changing office hours on a traffic movement.
It has found a significant reduction of congestion on the Airport Road (PR-7) on its first day of implementation. The traffic analysis, carried out using Tom-Tom Maps on the 18-KM long Airport Road, found that the average delays during peak hours have reduced from 30-40 minutes to mere 5-6 minutes.
Notably, Punjab Government on Tuesday had changed the timings of government offices from 9 am- 5 pm to 7.30 am- 2 pm in larger public interest, which is expected to save around 350 MW of power daily and Rs 40-45 crore between May 2 and July 15.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Traffic AS Rai said that the reduction in travel time will also cut down the fuel consumption, which will save costs that would have otherwise been estimated to Rs 6.75 lakhs daily by directly saving 7500 litres of fuel.
In addition to the cost savings, the reduction in congestion is also beneficial for the environment, as it leads to a corresponding reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, he said.
The study found that during peak hour, about 7000 vehicles cross the Airport Road (PR-7) in one hour, with 25% of these being two-wheelers, 64% being four-wheelers, and the remaining 11% being trucks, buses, LCVs, tractors, multi-axles, and others.
Based on conservative estimates, the additional delay of 25 minutes for these vehicles during five hours would have consumed 7500 litres of fuel per day. The estimates of fuel saving are based upon the vehicle operating cost for different vehicles made available by the Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi and Indian Roads Congress.
Director PRSTRC Dr Navdeep Asija said that the success of this initiative on the Airport Road can serve as a model for other cities and major roads to reduce congestion, save costs, and promote a cleaner environment. Other cities in the state must have observed the same on the first day, and they are looking forward to its long-term impact as well, he added.