In recent years, Raipur has witnessed a lot of changes. The State Government has invested a lot of funds on infrastructure development in the state. This has primarily been focussed on building better roadways. A lot of this has been in Raipur to improve the navigation within the city. One of them has been Gaurav Path. This road which links Ghadi Chowk and Telibandha has been widened to a four lane. Construction is also going on for the Canal Linking Road which would join Pandri and the Airport. Construction for this road has been completed until Pandri to Telibandha. Construction is going on to widen the Raipur Bilaspur which is now a single lane highway. But despite all these things traffic congestion is on the rise in the city.
If you pass through the Ramsagar Para Road or the Malviya Road or the Pandri Lodhipara section or the Gudhiyari underbridge during the morning or evening peak hours you will experience a traffic congestion that is now becoming the hall mark of the city. So why is this happening? Well one of them is because of the fact that Raipur being the administrative as well as the economic capital of Chhattisgarh has been undergoing rapid changes. All this has resulted in a number of firms beginning to set up shops in Raipur. We now have an influx of people from other states who are coming in to this city looking for opportunities. In fact Raipur is well on its way to becoming a melting pot of cultures. Since becoming the Capital, the population of Raipur has doubled from nearly 7 lakhs to almost 14 lakhs now. Their disposable incomes have also increased significantly. But these are not the only factors. Let us now analyse two other factors.
One of them would be public transportation services. Or rather the lack of it. If you look at it Raipur city public transportation is mostly dependent on either Autos or then local buses. In fact the buses here in Raipur are too few to be even considered for public transportation. Autos are the de facto mode of public transport in Raipur. But then the prices here are not fixed and depends more on the mood of the driver. In addition to this there is the fact that these most of these vehicles finish their operations post 9 PM. Very few are on the roads post 10 PM. So you can’t really depend on these vehicles all the time.
All this has resulted in the growing need for private transportation. When it comes to owning your own personal vehicle both aspirations as well as need play a part. While in many cities it has been more of aspiration and less of need; in Raipur it has been the opposite. The need has resulted in the demand for vehicles designed for the masses while aspirations are resulting in the demand for high-end vehicles. A lot of families in Raipur own at least two vehicles; two bikes, bike and moped, Moped and car, bike and SUV, the list goes on. If you look at two wheeler; be it bikes or mopeds, Raipur already has a vibrant market for it. TVS, Yamaha, Honda, Mahindra, Hero, Bajaj, Suzuki. These brands which are all used by the masses all have bike showrooms. Even high-end models like Royal Enfield, KTM, Hyosung also have showrooms. In fact the high demand for Royal Enfield has resulted in it opening two showrooms in the city. It is a similar story for the SUV and Car showrooms. Maruti, Suzuki, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Toyota, Skoda, Ford, Tata, Mahindra, Fiat, Renault, Premier, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Datsun, Honda, Volkswagen all have SUV and Car Dealers in Raipur. Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Range Rover have SUV showroom in Raipur as well. The consumers in Raipur are now spoilt for choice. They now have the option to choose from a range of Cars, SUVs, Mopeds and bike. They also have enough disposable income to buy from these Authorised showrooms.
And we haven’t even mentioned the vibrant second-hand automobile market for Car Dealers in Raipur. The Onus is now on the State government to predict this rising demand and plan for the future because their efforts at present while certainly worthy of applause is just not enough.