Day To Day Struggles Amidst The Pandemic :
With the increase in COVID-19 cases, India has been in lockdown for almost 5 months. Most of the rules and regulations regarding the lockdown are gradually being relaxed. Many people are being encouraged to return to their workplaces and continue their day-to-day lives. Many startups, MNCs, corporate companies, and government offices have recommended people to carry on with their daily lives. This puts citizens in a more vulnerable situation and increases the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Precautions are being taken by people to return safely to their workplaces. Social distancing must be maintained in workplaces. The Indian economy is at its lowest point and has taken a huge hit. This increases the risk of people losing their jobs. During the lockdown, several companies fired their redundant employees, causing them to lose their jobs.
Even though most of the rules and regulations relating to the lockdown have been relaxed. Still, some of the restrictions are being followed due to increasing COVID-19 cases every day. These restrictions are being relaxed in a step – by – step process rather than in a radical measure. This continuing restriction has badly affected public transports across the country. Only inter-district bus and passenger train services have been resumed. In addition to this, only 50% of the transport services around the country have been resumed. Public transports are now allowed to carry only less than 30% of passengers. It means passengers can occupy only 50% of the seats which is not sufficient for an overcrowded country like India. People are requested to commence commuting using public transport only for work- and business-related reasons. Still, people are recommended to show up for commuting with necessary safety measures to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. Substantial efforts are also taken by the government to help reduce the spread of the virus. If people switch from public transportation to cars, road congestion will be more serious than before, emissions will rise sharply, air quality will deteriorate, and road safety will be affected.
How can Public Transportation Restrictions Boost Automobile Industry?
These restrictions have been reduced the chances of people taking advantage of public transport. Reduced seating is not an option for a country like India due to its surplus population. People in rural areas have also faced profound difficulty in using the services offered by public transport due to limited seating. This decision by the government has provoked citizens to buy their personal vehicles, which ultimately boosts the automobile sector in India and increases the revenue of the automobile sector during this pandemic. The automobile sector was already in a receding stage due to a decrease in sales during this pandemic and lockdown. Nearly 45% of the automobile sales have dropped due to economic slumps amid pandemic. This is the worst-hit the automobile sector has seen in over a decade. But this quarantine period has given rise to people contemplating buying two-wheelers.
Buying two-wheelers is the only feasible option that people have because of an increasing decline in the Indian economy. Two Wheelers are the only cheaper modes of transport. Getting a car amidst the pandemic, is indubitably transcends the budget of many middle-class families. This is likely to increase the sales of two-wheelers across the country. But even though two-wheelers seem to be a rational solution, for now, the climate conditions in India are not likely to change in an orientated fashion. The following months are supposed to give rise to cold days and cold nights following heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms. People are likely to refrain from using two-wheelers in a cold climate. Even though getting a two-wheeler may seem like an easy solution, in the long run, but this will end up prolonging the inevitable.
As India steps into the winter season, getting a two-wheeler is going to be in vain in the following months to come. In other words, a two-wheeler is not malleable. So cars are the only other option that people have. There are many automobile industries that are helping middle-class families by offering used cars to attain their dream of getting a car at an affordable rate. They provide second-hand cars in pristine condition to customers along with a warranty period. This left customers in a complete state of relief. Even, there are many used cars in the market that are free from defects. Customers can buy cars according to their choices. But we all know that buying a car is not going to be possible in this pandemic due to a decline in the Indian economy, as people are already losing their jobs around the country.
The government should have to rethink public transportation design to maintain physical distancing, even if this reduces capacity. No doubt, due to overpopulation, reducing seats is not an option for countries like India. It will enhance crowding on platforms, bus stops and tram stops. Crowding public transportation puts lives at risk. Some measures are needed, such as boarding from the back door and disinfecting rolling stock, but this does not reduce congestion. It is also necessary to avoid crowds on platforms, bus stops, and tram stops.
With the same passenger demand as before the pandemic, only three initially infected passengers will cause 55% of the number of passengers to be infected within 20 days. This will have shocking consequences. More measures need to be taken. Increasing capacity by running more services where possible will help. Intricate working hours will reduce peak demand. Transportation demand management should also need to lessen overall travel demand by having people to continue to work from home if they can.
Other solutions include thermal imaging at the metro, bus stops, and train stations to identify passengers with fever. There will be many technicals and deployment challenges, but testing can find problems and simplify the transition process.