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Sunday , 3 March 2024

China’s monster traffic jam

A massive traffic jam in China was like a jigsaw puzzle in August and September. First, it started on Aug 14 on China’s highway leading to its capital Beijing and even before people could realise what had hit them, it had spread to 100km (62 miles) by the ninth day, baffling not just the Chinese traffic authorities but the entire world. Most of the vehicles stuck in the jam were heavy cargo lorries on their way to Beijing. The reasons cited were heavy traffic and roadwork carried out to repair damage on the highway and breakdowns. The expressway is heavily used to export coal from China’s coastal areas to its eastern ports.

The jam ‘vanished’ on its own by August 23. And while experts were still putting their heads together to compile reasons for the jam and decide on the solutions, a 30km (19 miles) long jam reappeared four days later on Beijing-Tibet Expressway, about 250km Northwest of downtown Beijing. Over 2000 vehicles got stuck at the Badaling section of the expressway, again in Hebei province, within a few hours. Beijing will have around five million cars on its roads by the year end. Add to it the fact that 20 million residents of Beijing need a large quantity of shipment of goods to fulfill their needs. No wonder then that China is on a mission to expand its national road system on a massive scale. It is important in the light of the statement of  head that if China doesn’t limit its number of cars, traffic in Beijing could slow down to under 15kms an hour. In order to ease its traffic woes, China will now spend $12 billion on its traffic management.

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