For choked Delhi, public transport is way forward, says panel

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Explosive growth of automobiles in Delhi should be checked through increased use of public and non-motorised transport and use of private vehicles should be discouraged through high parking fees and congestion tax, a high-powered panel said.

Set up by union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in October 2014 to suggest ways to decongest Delhi roads, the committee came out with a 126-page report analysing the causes and consequences of traffic congestion in the city and suggesting a way forward.

About 21 per cent of city’s area is already under roads with limited scope for road network expansion, said the committee, chaired by Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

It said that automobile centric planning with focus on road widening, construction of more flyovers, etc., “have only promoted increased use of private vehicles” which are meeting “less than 20 per cent” of transport needs of the people.

The committee expressed “serious concern” over mushrooming of gated communities in the city which “compel the local traffic to come onto main roads by preventing short cuts”.

It strongly recommended development of necessary infrastructure for promoting walking and cycling in the city.

The committee called for various interventions over the next five years to enable 80 per cent share for public transport and non-motorised trips in total transportation in the city.

The total passenger trips in the city are estimated to increase to 280 lakh per day in 2021 from a mere 45 lakh trips in 1981, 118 lakh trips in 2001 and 144 lakh in 2008, noted the committee that has representatives of 19 ministries and agencies, Delhi police and the urban local bodies.

–IANS

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