Public transportation is one of the most significant elements of the modern world. It is also the main method for people to move from one place to another, and it allows the smooth working of the economy. Haryana, having one of the biggest business centers in the country and owing to its proximity to larger commercial hubs like Delhi and Chandigarh, is heavily dependent on its roads and public transportation. Luckily, it already has a road network of 23,056 km stretching the entire length and breadth of the state. However, the condition of the roads is a matter of concern and a challenge that could determine the future of Haryana.
Haryana's main means of public transportation are buses. The major bus service is provided by the Haryana Roadways State Transport, a public sector transport company run by the state government. It operates intra- and inter-state bus services connecting Haryana to Chandigarh, Delhi and Faridabad. As of March 2012, the company has about 3,769 buses ranging from the non-air-conditioned deluxe coaches to air-conditioned luxury Volvos. The dependence of this bus service, although, is such that if even for a day the bus staff decides to take a break and stop working, the entire working force of the state cripples. Such an incident has in fact happened in the past. According to a news report, the strike of January 2014 affected over 12 lakh people of the state. Many even couldn't make it to their interviews in Gurgaon. There is also a need for increasing the number of buses on the roads as the already existing ones have still not met with the adequate transportation requirement of the state.
Apart from buses, Haryana's public transportation also includes shared taxis, phat-phatis and autos. These, although, are very small in number as compared to the buses, and ply at select routes only. Moreover, the rates charged by shared taxis are in many cases exorbitant, especially in and around Gurgaon. The phat-phatis, on the other hand, have been part of the nostalgic transport history of the Delhi-Haryana-Punjab region. In the present times, however, apart from being huge noise-makers, these phat-phatis are known to be road hazards and cause high levels of air pollution. The autos have shown considerable improvement by adopting the low-pollution gas engines. These however, operate only on certain routes, mostly between a thriving business hub and metro stations connecting Delhi.
In relation to the roads in Haryana, much has been reported. Every year the government spends a lot of money in the repair of the roads but the problem is still not averted. Adding to that, particulate air pollution has been cited as a critical problem by the Supreme Court recently (February 2014). It is known to cause major health problems like lung disorders, breathing difficulty, heart diseases, and respiratory issues. In order to combat this problem, the public transport vehicles should install emission metres, use newer models, and run their engines on better quality and less polluting diesel or petrol.
In conclusion, Haryana's better tomorrow lies in the hands of good governance and efficient public transportation machinery.