Two days after the Delhi Traffic Police urged the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to have kerb stones in its jurisdiction area repainted back to black and yellow in order to ensure safety on roads, council officials maintained that the matter was under serious consideration and a decision will be taken soon.
“There was a meeting that Delhi Traffic Police officials held with NDMC officials. The matter of painting kerbs black and yellow did come up during the meeting among other issues. We are looking into it seriously and a decision will be taken soon,” a senior NDMC official said.
On Friday, AAP MLA from Wazirpur, Rajesh Gupta, had raised the issue in the Delhi Assembly, asking the Speaker to direct NDMC to change the colour. While attributing political reasons behind NDMC’s decision, Gupta had alleged that the council was wasting taxpayers’ money.
Last year, after BJP formed the Central government, NDMC had painted kerb stones, along roads in New Delhi, saffron and green, evoking criticism from various quarters. According to NDMC, the measure had been taken for aesthetic reasons since most buildings in its jurisdiction area were of red sandstone and the NDMC logo was green. All roads in Lutyens Delhi including Ashoka Road, Parliament Street, Connaught Place roads, Jantar Mantar and Ferozeshah Road now have kerb stones painted saffron and green.
Incidentally, BJP MP from New Delhi, Meenakshi Lekhi, had also raised concerns about the change in colour scheme of these kerbs. While the council maintained that measure had been taken for aesthetic purposes, Lekhi had pointed to global studies which state that high contrast level of a set of colours should be used which are visible at night and in foggy conditions. Maintaining that the red and green colours did not meet these criteria, Lekhi had also raised the issue with the Union Minister for Urban Development in November 2014.
The national body for technical highway engineers, Indian Raod Congress, the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre as well as the International Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals state that yellow, white and black are the standard colours which are used for markings. After a hue and cry, the council pasted reflector strips which started coming off soon.
Meanwhile, AAP MLA from Delhi Cantonment who is also an NDMC member, Surinder Singh said he will take up the issue at the next council meeting. “I had raised concerns about change in colour scheme a few months ago. With the saffron and green combination, the danger of mishaps along these roads, especially during winter, is likely to increase. I am planning to take up the matter with the new NDMC chief and will raise it in the next council meeting,” Singh said.