No flyovers, congestion fee to make Delhi traffic free: Panel

Central government panel proposes Rs 20,000 crore package to decongest Delhi

GN Bureau | June 6, 2016


#Decongesting Traffic in Delhi   #Delhi motor vehicle Act   #pedestrians   #parking   #decongestion   #Delhi traffic  
Delhi traffic
Photo: Arun Kumar

A central government-appointed committee set up for 'Decongesting Traffic in Delhi', has recommended that parking and encroachment on footpaths should be made cognizable offences. This comes as a relief to pedestrians in Delhi who are forced to walk on the main roads due to obstructions on pavements. The committee was set up by the minister of urban development Venkaiah Naidu in October 2014.

 
The panel headed by the urban development secretary, Rajiv Gauba, said, "Parking on footpaths should be made a cognizable offence with heavy penalties and compounding. This should be done by utilising the relevant provisions of the Municipal Act for public space encroachment as well as the Delhi Motor Vehicle Act and Delhi Police Act for endangering the life of citizens." 
 
Once it becomes law, the Delhi chief secretary, with representatives from other stakeholders, should monitor implementation. Police and enforcement agencies can book the offenders and can also make arrests.
 
Key recommendations of the panel include: 
  • Signal-free corridors should be avoided as this only attracts more traffic. 
  • Building new flyovers should not be taken up unless over a river, a natural barricade, rail line or if there is no other solution.
  • In order to push measures to reduce private vehicles on city roads and to encourage use buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, cycling and walking, the panel suggested the need for stiff parking charges.
  • As a thumb rule – higher the congestion, higher the fee should be levied in the area to reduce parking demand. 
  • The committee recommended five times charges for on-road parking than off-road. Even penal charges for parking violations should be 10 times the normal rates.
  • It was noted that roads in the city covered almost 21 percent of the total land, 60 percent of passenger trips were below four km distance and 80 percent below six km, which were ideal for non-motorised transport. The panel recommended development of infrastructure for promoting walking and cycling. For this investment of Rs 20,000 crore should be made for bus rapid transit system, walking and cycling infrastructure. 
  • The committee also expressed serious concern over escalating of gated communities in the city which was compelling local traffic to come on the main roads by preventing short cuts for movement of people.
The panel had representatives from 19 different agencies from central and Delhi government, but the final report was heavily loaded with views from the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning & Engineering) Centre of DDA.
 
Similar recommendations have been made in other cities to combat vehicular traffic and congestion.
 
A study by a Chennai-based urban policy research think tank had proposed last year, a congestion tax model as a solution to traffic congestion in Chennai which has the greatest vehicle density in the country, much higher than those of Delhi and Mumbai.
 
 

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