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October 28, 2012


Non-Motorized Transportation Project To Develop Areas Along Drains As Recreational Public Spaces & Special Corridors For Cycling And Walking

New Delhi: Think of the drain behind your house, the eyesore of the colony which is usually lined with garbage, stray cattle and dogs, and stinks so much that one would not venture near it. Now imagine a tree- lined canal, an open public space that has people walking and cycling along the gently gushing water. The idea may sound ambitious but the Delhi government has plans to convert several of the city’s larger drains into eco-corridors: areas that will be used extensively as non-motorized stretches and connect colonies to the BRT corridor, Metro stations and bus stops. 
    The non-motorized transportation (NMT) eco-corridor project will be incorporated into DDA’s master plan and has been pre
pared by UTTIPEC. The project has two components — developing areas along drains as recreational public spaces and developing a road network that includes special corridors for cycling and walking. “We have to shift focus from traffic planning to mobility planning. However, the development of recreational areas is entirely dependent on the cleaning of the drains. The project has been around for ages but if it has to work the government needs to take a holistic view of it and carry out all works together,” said an official. 
    The project aims to tackle open drains and bring down traffic congestion, which is the prime reason for Delhi’s rising pollution problems. “Among the proposals we have already mulled are connecting Nizamuddin Railway Station and ISBT to Jungpura Metro Sta
tion. The existing open drain behind Nizamuddin that passes by Jungpura is an ideal location to develop NMT. The other stretch is from Sheikh Sarai to Moolchand Metro station. This will also provide connectivity from the Saket malls to GK-I. The project along the Barapullah drain is the most extensive and will provide an interface with existing modes of public transport,” said UTTIPEC director Ashok Bhattacharjee. “We have a cycle sharing system along the BRT corridor but one reason it failed was the insufficient number of stations to park. Development of sufficient infrastructure is a priority. A sizeable number of cycle parking points, convenient hiring systems, accessible locations and dedicated paths even along the main roads need to be put in place. The cycle tracks need to become transit routes, between colonies, within colonies and between colonies and public transport points,” said a source. 
    The environment department, too, has been promoting the project. “By encouraging walking and cycling, we will be able to tackle congestion, bring down pollution, create open public spaces and deal with the problem of untreated sewage,” said an environment department official. 

Source: Times of India (28 Oct 2012, pg 4)

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