Govt locks horns with arts panel

The Delhi Government has decided to take the Delhi Urban Art Commission head on by reviving both the East-West corridor and the ITO flyover projects.

Written by Sobhana K | New Delhi | Published:March 29, 2009 1:37 am

To approach ministry with fresh plans for flyover at ITO,East-West corridor after DUAC shot down proposal

The Delhi Government has decided to take the Delhi Urban Art Commission head on by reviving both the East-West corridor and the ITO flyover projects.

The government is preparing to appeal to the Urban Development Ministry against the Commission’s decision to reject the East-West corridor project. The government will also go back to the DUAC again with the proposal for a flyover at the ITO intersection on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg,senior officials said,adding that more preparation has been made this time. DUAC,the agency that advises the government on maintaining aesthetic and environmental designs,had last month shot down the ITO flyover proposal calling the plan “ad hoc”.

According to officials,the government undertook a fresh survey to asses the flow of traffic and passenger movement traffic in the area to prepare grounds for the ITO flyover.

Section 13 of the DUAC Act gives Delhi government the power to appeal to the Centre in certain cases. The government had used the Act on three occasions earlier to revive projects rejected by the Commission. The project to redevelop Chattrasal Stadium,the Ring Road bypass connecting East Delhi to Outer Ring Road,and Barapullah drain project were all taken to the Centre and the Lieutenant-Governor for their approval.

DUAC had rejected the East-West corridor plan saying the project cost was too high. The Commission had also said that the corridor would eventually lead to more cars and will deter public transport,especially buses,to ply on the stretch. The Delhi government had planned a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor below the East-West corridor.

Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta said,“Both issues on which the (East-West corridor) project was rejected were not in the ambit of DUAC,so we have decided to prepare our case and present it to the Urban Development Ministry.”

Planned to connect Akshardham Temple in East Delhi and Punjabi Bagh in the Capital’s west,the first phase of the East-West corridor is eight kilometres long and involves construction of an eight-lane corridor from Akshardham Temple to the New Delhi railway station.

As per the PWD’s plans,the corridor would be elevated from Akshardham Temple till Ring Road and will be constructed on stilts.

The corridor will descend behind the WHO building on Ring Road and then,going under the Metro line,rise up again close to Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. After keeping the matter pending for a long time,DUAC officially conveyed the message to PWD only about a month back.

On February 11,DUAC had also rejected the ITO flyover project on the basis 13 points it highlighted. “Providing more road area,especially raised,is not a solution for traffic problems,” the Commission said while rejecting the proposal. “On the contrary,it increases the number of vehicles and thereby aggravates the problem.”

The Commission also said that the traffic projections do not appear convincing: “the proposed Metro line to East Delhi would remove a large part of the load.”

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