The East Delhi Municipal Corporation over the week-end conducted a sensitisation workshop for all its engineers for the appropriate implementation of Street Design Guidelines of Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre.

Earlier, directives had been issued by the office of the Lieutenant-Governor and the Chief Secretary to all the civic bodies to make changes in the current ways of executing road projects and to conform to the UTTIPEC guidelines.

All engineers up to the level of junior engineers were required to participate in the workshop on “Street Design Guidelines of UTTIPEC”. A questionnaire was also circulated to enable them to think about and discuss the various issues that were to later come up in the meet.

Making roads safe

The UTTIPEC had issued Street Design Guidelines in 2009 to be followed on all the Delhi roads. These guidelines are for the engineers and architects working on public projects on how to make roads safe and usable for pedestrians, cyclists, cycle-rickshaws, street vendors, as well as cars and two-wheelers, and also make streets safer for women and children. The guidelines also provide ways in which persons with disabilities (wheelchair users, visually impaired and others) could be made to feel safe in negotiating a street. They also suggest ways to make streets in a way that storm water does not collect on roads or flows backwards into homes.

Adopted three years ago

Although the guidelines were adopted three years ago, engineers in various departments have not been able to adopt and implement them due to various reasons.

As it was felt that this may be due to lack of understanding of the guidelines, or shortcomings in coordination, stakeholder consultation and understanding for the need and importance of the proposed techniques, discussions on them were planned through the workshops.

The organisers of the workshop are hopeful of positive results. They insist that often road improvement projects only involve relaying of the carriageway, while improvement of the footpaths and provision of amenities like toilets, vendor spaces and organised parking get overlooked. With greater clarity on the issue, uniformity in construction of street infrastructure is envisaged.

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