Even as the debate on whether Chandigarh needs a Metro system or not continues, the traffic on certain points and chowks keeps accumulating, making them bottlenecks of the city.
The Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) agency in its survey identified the busiest junctions across where it suggested the construction of underpasses, while calculating the peak approach. A peak approach of the passenger car unit has been calculated on all fifteen junctions in the study. Peak approach means vehicles approaching these points during peak hours, and the vehicles were calculated in terms of the passenger car unit (PCU). One bus was calculated to be equivalent to three cars, one car as one and two wheeler as 0.5 car.
The peak approach PCU was calculated not just for until 2027 (five years) as well according to the growth rate of population and vehicle registration.
The following are the bottlenecks:
Transport chowk (Purv Marg – Madhya Marg junction), where the highest peak approach is found to be 10,572, along the Madhya Marg during peak time. The same traffic is likely to rise to 14,148 in 2027.
Tribune chowk with 9,857 vehicles coming along at Dakshin Marg and, as per RITES, the peak approach will increase to 13,191 vehicles at the same point by 2027.
The peak approach from Gurudwara chowk – Sukhna path to Dakshin Marg junction is the third highest, with 9,786 vehicles along Dakshin Marg. According to the agency, the peak approach is likely to increase to 13,096 vehicles by 2027.
Sector 46C – 47D chowk which is the Vikas Marg – Chandi Path junction, sees 9,551 vehicles approaching along Vikas Marg and the peak approach is likely to increase to 12,781 by 2027.
Kisan Bhawan Chowk (Dakshin Marg – Jan Marg junction) with 8,750 PCUs (along Dakshin Marg) during peak hours. The peak approach is likely to increase to 11,709 vehicles by 2027.
ISBT Sector 17 chowk sees 8,438 vehicles on Udyog Path and the same is likely to increase to 11,292 vehicles in 2027.
Press chowk, from Himalaya Marg – Madhya Marg junction sees 7,658 passenger car units. The same number is likely to increase to 10,248 PCUs by 2027.
The Chandigarh Railway Station road that approaches from Panchkula to Chandigarh currently sees 7,657 car units and the same is expected to increase to 10,247 in next five years that is year 2027.
Junction 22 which is Madhya Marg – Sukhna Path junction sees 7,310 vehicles, likely to increase to 9,782 vehicles by 2027.
Sector 43B – 35C chowk, sees 7,299 vehicles that may increase to 9,768 vehicles by 2027.
At Matka chowk from Madhya Marg to Jan Marg junction the peak approach presently is 7,129 vehicles and the same is likely to increase to 9,540 vehicles by 2027.
Kumbra chowk – from Himalaya Marg to Mohali bypass road junction – is another bottleneck that sees 5,817 which may increase to 7,784 vehicles by 2027.
Considering the heavy traffic on these points where traffic approaches from neighbouring towns as well, it is high time that the Chandigarh Administration decides on the immediate measures to resolve the impending crisis.
Though the RITES has proposed vehicular underpasses at Housing Board chowk, Chandigarh Railway Station, Tribune chowk, ISBT 17 chowk, Secor 46-47D chowk, Gurudwara chowk, Transport chowk, Press chowk and Kisan Bhawan chowk. At the remaining six points, geometric improvement has been proposed by the RITES.
Need strengthening of public transport
Former nominated councillor and architect Surinder Bahga said that it is high time public transport is strengthened in the city. “The immediate measure is that we discourage people from using personal vehicles. That is only possible when they find buses suitable for their travel. Let’s introduce robust and smart bus system so that people from Panchkula or Mohali do not get their personal vehicles and rather prefer to take these buses to reach their destinations. At the same time the officials should also ensure the end-to-end connectivity like from the bus stops,” Bahga said.