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Decongestion plan for Walled City

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, MAY 22. Worried over continuing decline in trade due to massive congestion and illegal plying of cycle-rickshaws in the Walled City of Old Delhi, the Government is understood to have finalised an action plan to decongest the area by introducing the concept of park and ride. A preliminary study has identified two routes for the initial stage that is expected to become operational during the current financial year.

The idea behind the project is to reduce the flow of motorised vehicles in the most congested areas of the Walled City. The project is said to be the brainchild of the Transport Minister, Haroon Yusuf, who is also working on getting light railway network laid for the Walled City.

Mr.Yusuf, who represents the Balimaran Assembly segment of the area, is personally monitoring the whole scheme and if it proves to be a success here, then it could be introduced in other congested areas of the Capital. In addition, the Government could also go ahead with the programme to restrict the number of cycle-rickshaws plying in the Walled City by introducing park and ride facilities to the local population, traders and visitors who frequent Chandni Chowk. Apart from this, it is felt that with the Metro Rail becoming operational on this route by the end of this year or early next year, the number of vehicles coming to this area would stand reduced. In fact, already the new link between Rohini and Tis Hazari has proved to be a big hit with the traders living in North-West Delhi as they are using the park and ride facilities at the various Metro stations.

The Delhi Government has identified the first route which is from Asaf Ali Road to Fathepuri via Delhi Gate, Darya Ganj and Chandni Chowk. The second route will be from Mori Gate to Fatehpuri via Novelty Cinema, S.P. Mukerjee Marg, Kauria Bridge and Chandni Chowk. Under the park-and-ride concept, the traders, local population and visitors would be advised to park at Asaf Ali Road or Mori Gate and then proceed for the further journey in the eco-friendly vehicles. It is learnt that the newly developed six-seater autorickshaws would ply on these routes to ferry the passengers throughout the day. The Government is understood to have sought the cooperation of local traders association for the implementation of the scheme that is expected to reduce traffic congestion and jams in these areas. In fact, the study has identified Darya Ganj, Mori Gate, Chandni Chowk and Kauria Bridge as the most congested areas of the Walled City and the scheme is aimed at addressing the problems of these areas.

Acknowledging that such a plan had been formulated, the State Secretary (Transport), Rajiv Talwar, says it would take some time for the scheme to be implemented but it is likely to happen during the current year itself. He said such a scheme had been formulated for Connaught Place and is currently under implementation and the same was being tried out in the Walled City with improvisations.

On the other hand, the Transport Department has decided to go ahead with the drive against the errant autorickshaw drivers that indulge in over-charging and refuse to take passengers to various destinations. The Government is toying with the idea of changing the Helpine number for filing complaints regarding unscrupulous autorickshaw drivers.

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