NEW DELHI: The age-old cost-effective and pollution-free mode of transport, cycle-rickshaw, which is often perceived as a major cause of congestion here in the Capital, has found some support in the new Master Plan for Delhi-2021.
The Master Plan has elaborate proposals for decongesting Delhi's roads that are choked by tens of thousands of motor vehicles and buses day in and day out. Though the integrated bus, rail and metro system are all part of the recommendations, MPD-2021 has also taken care to ensure that the Capital is not given a new face at the cost of the source of livelihood of a section of society.
"The Master Plan has taken into account the aspirations of the common man and seeks to help them," says Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf.
Along with Bus Rapid Transit System, monorail and light rail, the Master Plan has underlined the need to adopt an inclusive approach when it comes to transport. "Bicycle and cycle-rickshaw could be an important mode of travel," according to MPD-2012.
Advocating the use of cycle-rickshaws and bicycles for short and medium trips, the Master Plan elaborates: "To the extent that it meets individual and public transport needs, it is a non-energy consuming and non-polluting mode of transport."
Taking into account lack of safety of cycle-rickshaws on the roads with fast moving mixed traffic, the Master Plan has suggested provisions in the road system to accommodate it.
"On all arterial roads, fully segregated cycle tracks should be provided with provision for safe parking and ride lots," says the Master Plan. "On the dedicated bus corridor being constructed, one lane has been dedicated to cyclists," said Mr. Yusuf. The seven bus corridors that will be completed by 2009 will all have provision for cycle-rickshaws and the cyclists, added the Minister.
The Master Plan has also asked for cycle tracks on sub-arterial and local level roads and streets in urban extensions.
According to Master Plan 2021, in Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Karol Bagh, Lajpat Nagar and the Capital's trans-Yamuna areas, the use of rickshaws as a non-motorised mode of transport should be consciously planned along with making it pedestrian-friendly.