Last Thursday’s go-ahead to the Rs 1600-crore Sector 29 flyover by the UT Administration was given despite the Chandigarh urban planning department’s serious objections to the project. The urban planning department may now approach the Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee with its objections.
Chandigarh Newsline has learnt that on May 24, the same day the Administration cleared the project, the urban planning department submitted a “confidential” report to the engineering wing listing its objections. The report says that the consultant for the project, M/s Stup, has not taken into consideration several factors in its conclusion that the flyover was a “dire necessity”.
Firstly, according to the report from the urban planning wing, the consultant’s estimate that 1,09,453 PCUs pass through Tribune Chowk does not take into account that a planned ring road will “divert significant number of vehicles entering the city especially at this chowk”.
The note also says that the consultant has not considered the impact of traffic at the GMCH-32 crossing, which is a silence zone.
“Traffic coming from Zirakpur side will culminate at this crossing. It is worth mentioning that as per the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the silence zone falls within a 100-meter radius of health/educational facilities,” the report states.
It was also specified that the impact of a proposed 80 ft wide bypass through Industrial Area Phase II Chandigarh for diverting state transport buses has also not been considered.
“It is pertinent to mention that the Chandigarh transport department has already engaged Systra Consultants and they are preparing Chandigarh Smart mobility plan wherein proposal of BRT and tram has been proposed along Dakshin Marg to ease traffic congestion. Hence the issue may be deliberated upon by the engineering department,” says the note, referring to the French consultants engaged for the smart city project.
The urban planning department in its report has suggested the need for a flyover be reviewed.
A senior official of the urban planning department told Chandigarh Newsline, “We will be bringing up this issue with the Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee now. Having a flyover is not a feasible solution at all. Number of vehicles has been increasing in Chandigarh like you must have seen the data of RLA that there has been an increase in 98 per cent cars in nine years. After ten years, what will be the fate of this flyover? The number of vehicles will increase much more and this entire stretch will become choked. We must look for some environmentally sustainable alternative and even otherwise IRC norms have been given a go-by here.”
When asked, Special Secretary Engineering, Mukesh Anand, refused to comment on the issue.
A senior officer of the administration said, “The expenditure on this project is not from us but NHAI will be funding it. Moreover, we have been looking for alternative solutions but haven’t found any workable solution till now. There is a dire need to ease out traffic at this stretch.”