Covid-19 impact: 60% decline in city traffic as restrictions take effect

A deserted Bandra-Worli Sea Link. PTI
Monday morning rush hour traffic was non-existent in New Delhi and the financial capital, Mumbai. There was significantly lower vehicular movement as fears over the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak intensified, showed an analysis of traffic congestion data from location technology firm TomTom International.

The average traffic congestion in Mumbai in 2019 ranges from 60-80 per cent in the morning rush hour (between 8 am and 10 am). It was under five per cent on Monday. New Delhi’s morning traffic congestion in 2019 is between 50-80 per cent. It was in single digits on Monday, ranging from 0-6 per cent.

The organisation measures traffic congestion as the additional amount of time taken to travel a distance if roads were congestion-free. Mumbai’s average 2019 reading of 80 per cent at 9 am suggests that it would take 80 per cent longer to reach one’s destination at the time, than when there is no congestion. Both Mumbai and New Delhi are among the most congested cities in the world, according to 2019 data.

The decline comes as chief ministers have imposed restrictions to combat the pandemic.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray imposed section 144 in Mumbai and all other urban areas in Maharashtra from Monday, 23rd March. Section 144 imposes restrictions on gatherings of people in large numbers. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also announced a lockdown from Monday. Both measures were taken to contain the spread of the disease.

Other countries too saw lockdowns to control the outbreak. They include China, France, Italy, and Spain.


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