Nine arterial roads in Delhi will be redesigned to get rid of bottlenecks and to add separate lanes for non-motorised vehicles, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Tuesday. The Delhi government project, stuck for over four years, will take off with the stretch between AIIMS and Ashram being redesigned first.
“All roads of Delhi will be entirely redesigned as per international standards. We have been trying to do this for a few years now, and our hard work has paid off. Nine stretches spanning 45 km will be redesigned on a pilot basis. Work orders for one road have been given today, and will be given for two more tomorrow. For the rest, orders will be given in November. We hope to improve the condition of these roads and tackle the problem of traffic congestion by redesigning them within a year. The cost for these nine stretches will be Rs 400 crore,” Kejriwal said.
After AIIMS-Ashram stretch, Vikas Marg and Narwana Road will be redesigned. While the changes include streetscaping, they will not just be about making stretches pedestrian-friendly, but will also look at the issue of bottlenecks.
“Wide roads in Delhi turn into significantly narrow lanes after a few miles, and then back into wide roads, which creates a bottleneck and heavy traffic at some locations. Our priority will be to remove bottlenecks first for smooth flow of traffic and an organised lane system. Our second work would be to increase efficiency of space on the roads, so they are best utilised,” he said.
Pradeep Sachdeva, the consultant for the first three projects, said geometric improvement of roads is the primary concern.
“According to the new Indian Road Congress guidelines, width of car lanes can be reduced to carve out a special lane for non-motorised vehicles. We also plan to improve pedestrian access and create space for those who want to cycle. On our roads, the width of the lane keeps varying, and a road is only as good as the narrowest stretch. This has to be rectified,” Sachdeva said.
The BJP, meanwhile, hit out at the project, with Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel saying that through these announcements, Kejriwal was accepting that he did not do anything in Delhi for five years. “There is no drainage system on roads, no space to park autos and rickshaws. They are issuing tenders despite knowing they will not be able to complete the project during their term,” he claimed.
The project was first mooted in 2015 and a creative team was put together for planning. The then L-G, however, did not clear the project and the team disbanded. After the SC judgment earlier this year, that said the elected government was the primary decision-maker in areas except for law and order, land, police and services, the project was revived.