Eminent architects who are members of Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee have termed the concept of having a flyover at the Sector 29/31 roundabout in the city a blunder. According to them, disagreeing on the concept of flyover was not just because of the city’s heritage point of view but because of the fact that the Rs 1,600-crore flyover was not going to solve the basic purpose as the entire traffic would rather shift and choke the next rotary.
Professor Rajnish Wattas, former principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture, said, “Having a flyover is a wrong idea completely. By having a flyover here at this point is just like shifting the problem to another point because the entire traffic will meet at another rotary which is Sector 32 where we have a hospital and the area will get choked. We should look at solving the problem of urban mobility. It is a complete wastage of Rs 1,600 crore.”
Wattas said that flyovers are constructed to take the traffic out of the city and here with this flyover, they were bringing the entire traffic into the city. “Chandigarh has the highest vehicle density and we must look at the problem of urban mobility as a whole. If vehicles from different states enter at this point, we can look at bifurcating the traffic or construct a loop road which will divert the traffic. As this flyover will not solve the problem, then they will say construct flyovers across the entire stretch of Madhya Marg and city will turn into Delhi,” he said.
Former chief architect Sumit Kaur, another member of the CHCC, said that Chandigarh officials must look at foreign countries which were demolishing the flyovers.
“A flyover is not at all viable because we will be easing the congestion here but shifting the traffic congestion at the other point. We need to learn from Seoul, Boston or several other places which have just knocked down the flyovers. I agree there is an increasing problem of traffic and need to have a holistic plan. We can address that problem by having a sustainable solution like having trams, MRTS and other means,” she said.
The architects have decided to oppose the project at the meeting of Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee.
A senior officer of the urban planning department, who is also the member of the CHCC, said that there was not much space for the flyover. “Moreover, there is no space. It will require a lot of height. And who has flyovers just at the entrance? Not only it is non-viable but the city will also look ugly,” he said.
Special Secretary Engineering Mukesh Anand refused to comment on the issue. On May 24, the same day the administration cleared the project of Sector 29 flyover, the urban planning department had submitted a “confidential” report to the engineering wing listing its objections on the project.