(Written by Ananya Tiwari)
Residents of Mathura Road’s Sunder Nagar, who have been up in arms against the PWD’s proposed underpasses on the road, have put forth an alternative proposal for the redevelopment plan. As per the PWD’s plan, two underpasses would be constructed, leading to U-turns to divert traffic. Roopak Kothari, an architect, and resident of the residential colony has proposed an elevated ramp to overcome obstacles of flooding, traffic snarls, and deforestation.
Under the current plan, two six-lane underpasses, with openings near Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, and Purana Qila, would curve into two U-turns opposing each other, with a gap of approximately half-a-kilometre between them. This requires the extension of the service road, which would eat into old trees.
The Transit Corridor Development and Street Network/Connectivity Plan for ITPO by the PWD requires felling of 1,437 trees for projects in and around Pragati Maidan and Ring Road. Mathura Road’s underpasses, a part of this overarching plan, require razing of 82 trees. “Around 20-30% of trees have been felled,” said Kothari.
“We got to know of the plan only last year when they started cutting trees,” said H S Bindra, president of Sunder Nagar Association. “For 8-9 months, we have been meeting officials. Kothari and I also presented the alternative plan to PWD officials, at the Sunder Nagar Association office, but we did not hear from them,” he said.
“I have proposed that a ramp be constructed instead, so no trees are cut and we don’t have to worry about drainage problems or flooding during monsoon, like on Minto Road,” Kothari said. He warns “flooding will congest the area more as the road is already chaotic due to school buses, for whom this plan is there in the first place”.
An L&T engineer in-charge on-site said on condition of anonymity: “For waterlogging, 25-30 pumps will be installed and we’ll drain the water out with pipes.” PWD officials were not available for comment.