HERE’S SOME hope for all those who don’t want the Tribune flyover. The Chandigarh engineering wing has invited seven persons to present their alternatives to the flyover at a meeting on January 7. Sources say all these seven, who include architects, consultants and former chief engineers, had taken part in the public hearing on January 23 and the engineering wing found their ideas feasible.
The UT Superintending Engineer has sent a communiqué to architect Tarun Mathur, Paveela Bali, J S Nagi, Inderjit Ghai, Sudhesh Kumar, Eashan Chaufla and Vinod Kumar. All of them have been asked to reach the UT Secretariat building, Sector 9, with details of their alternatives at 11.30 am on January 7.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court is scheduled to hear this case on February 12. It was on the directions of the High Court that the public hearing on the Tribune flyover was held.
During the public hearing held on December 23 last year, most of the residents had voiced their opposition to the flyover. Many had given presentations as well. All were asked to submit their proposals in writing to the engineering wing, which has zeroed in on seven for a detailed meeting.
Inderjit Ghai, a consultant with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), GMADA and HSVP, has proposed diverting the traffic which “has no business with Chandigarh” via bypass /ring roads that have already been planned by NHAI, MORTH, GMADA and Haryana govt/HSVP, Punjab government. Only coordination between state governments/Central government and local bodies is required, he had said.
“One of these vital links is Kharar-Banur-Tepla Road (NH 205-A) connecting Ambala Ludhiana Road (NH 44) with Kharar-Ludhiana Road (NH 05) and Kharar-Kurali Road (NH 205) which is the only solution to decongest Tricity. Detailed project report of this road has already been prepared by NHAI and land acquisition process has been started. It can be taken up for execution immediately as all the preconstruction activities have been completed. This will be a direct link from Chandigarh International Airport to Punjab, Haryana, HP and J&K,” he had suggested.
Jagmohan Nagi, a retired chief engineer with Punjab, had come up with a combination of underpass and overpass to solve the problem of traffic congestion at the Tribune chowk. He said 10-foot-high overpass will not be an eyesore and will easily blend into the environment. Each traffic lane, including the right-turning traffic lane, should have its own separate independent route without any traffic control lights, he had suggested.
Eashan Chaufla, an architect among a group of youngsters who had called for upgrading the roundabouts, too has been called. On the basis of their research, his team had applied the principles of modern roundabouts to the Tribune Chowk, which will result in smoother flow of traffic without any significant disruption, and little to no ecological impact. He had proposed upgradation of the curvature of the splitter islands in order to facilitate a gradual approach to and a swifter exit from the roundabout.
This was suggested along with other things like the use of timers at light points, recalibration/optimisation of timing/dynamic timing (to prevent clogging of vehicles at the roundabout and prevent empty green lights), dedicated bus/auto drop-offs and lane-driving which will accumulate to significantly improve the flow of traffic and negate the need of a flyover which will only displace the congestion to the neighbouring intersections.
Chaufla’s basis of this alternative was that these roundabouts are an integral part of the urban infrastructure as well as the architectural legacy of Chandigarh, as envisioned by master architect Le Corbusier, and steps to retrofit and upgrade the existing roundabout should be undertaken.
Tarun Mathur, also an architect, had suggested a signal-free junction and an interchange, which is a grade separated intersection with roads passing over another and with ramps to connect them. According to the proposal, the ramping mechanism will allow traffic to flow from one or more sides without actually crossing it or without disturbing the movement of other traffic streams.
The net result is a completely signal-free junction which altogether avoids the need for traffic lights or the need to stop at the junction. The graciously curving ramps and cascading levels of the proposed interchange, will be a landscape designers’ delight and with green grass, blooming flowers and maybe some sculptures, will be an inspiring entry to the City Beautiful, he had said.
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