THE INDIAN Institute of Architects, Chandigarh- Punjab chapters, in a study conducted has found the proposed underpass from Panjab University to PGIMER is not viable.
Recently, the Chandigarh Administration gave its nod to the said underpass.
The architect body suggested an “overpass” instead stating that the underpass would be a colossal waste of money.
The study was conducted under the supervision of former nominated councillor and architect Surinder Bahga. Ankush Kumar, assistant architect, and Niraj Khurana, engineer, too were part of it.
Local chapter’s chairman Sanjay Goyal stated that an underpass would not just disrupt all underground services like sewerage, storm water disposal, water supply and telecom lines during the digging but for over two years, traffic would be completely disrupted. The point is the busiest with over 10,000 patients visiting the PGIMER and similar number visiting the Panjab University.
The study also made a point that “Le Corbusier was not against overpasses and had proposed some in the last phase of four-phase development plan of roundabout to cope with growing traffic”. “Moreover, overpass will be much more economical and will act as welcoming gateway from the vehicles coming from New Chandigarh. For overpass, it will be like a ramp of very gentle slope making it disabled-friendly and will be made of exposed concrete,” it was stated.
Bahga said that one disadvantage about underpass here was that during rains, there was a fear of water entering underpass and making it non-functional as one which already exists between sectors 11 and 15 on Madhya Marg. Other factors were absence of natural light and underpasses remaining dark and ill-maintained.
“Natural light will remain a permanent problem in such underpasses and artificial light is the only solution, but these are hardly maintained. Also, these underpasses are not disabled-friendly and it will also become difficult for the sick people to cross that underpass,” it was noted.
The study specified that the overpass will be 15 per cent cheaper than the conventional underpass. “It will be easy to maintain and there will be less expenditure on its maintenance. Also, it will be energy-efficient as hardly any lighting is needed and energy consumption will be 50 per cent less. It will be a landmark. There will be no need for users to locate or take guidance from where to cross,” Bahga added.
About the underpass
UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore last Monday had approved the underpass between Panjab University and the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. A meeting of Chandigarh Administration officials was chaired by Badnore in which officials of engineering wing gave a presentation to Badnore about how an underpass will help as the area is heavily crowded on both the sides and has become accident-prone.