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November 28, 2012

Soon, separate lane for emergencies

Around 160 Roads To Have 3.5-Metre-Wide ‘Disaster Management Lanes’

MARKED PATH SOME OF THE 160 ROADS THAT WILL HAVE DISASTER LANES Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg | I P Marg | Press Enclave Road Ring Road (AIIMS to Moolchand) | Mandir Marg Saket (MB Road to Press Enclave Road | Main Road Sec-1, Pushp Vihar M-Block, Main Road, GK II | Gurdwara Road GK II | P Block road from August Kranti Marg via Jain Mandir | Main Rohtak Road | Jail Road | Pankha Road | Rohini Central Jail Road | NH-24 (Millennium Depot to Ghazipur Chowk) | Noida Link Road (Akshardham to Noida border) | Vikas Marg (Vikas Bhawan to Karkari Mor) 

New Delhi: By the end of this year, at least 160 roads in the city will have a dedicated “disaster management lane”. Driving on these lanes during any disaster will be a punishable offence. 
    The 3.5-meter-wide lanes, to be painted blue, will be on the extreme right side of the road. On routine days, the lanes will be open for traffic; however, in case of any disaster a siren will be used to alert people. Following the siren, the lanes will have to be immediately cleared by the public for the use of emergency vehicles like ambulances, PCR vans, fire tenders etc. 

    The proposal has been prepared by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) as part of Delhi Emergency Management Exercise and already been approved by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. “We have sent the proposal to the transport department which will notify it and decide the provisions and details of the penalties to be imposed upon the offenders,” said 
Dharampal, divisional commissioner and principal secretary, DDMA. He also said the department is hoping to get the project in place latest by December-end. 
    As per the proposal, the 160-odd roads have been picked up from across the city keeping in view parameters like their closeness to important places such as offices of district and sub-divisional commissioners, fire stations, hospitals, etc. Each district was asked to give details about important routes on their arterial roads. 
    To create awareness on the proposal, DDMA has roped in cricketer Virender Sehwag who would be heard on all FM channels promoting the project. “It has been noticed that during disasters, emergency services fail to reach the spot 
on time as people lack sensitivity towards making way for them. One of the main aims of the project is to sensitize and educate people on the subject,” said Dharampal. 
    The proposal was prepared in discussion with National Disaster Management Authority 
of India and other stakeholders like fire and health departments. To check the feasibility of the project, DDMA plans to hold mock drills soon after its 
implementation. “Mock drill 
will help us check the shortcomings and will also prepare the public for future,” said a senior government officer. 

Source: TOI (Pg5, 27 Nov 2012) 

November 27, 2012

Rapid rail cost: 72,000 cr, NCRPB proposes to develop TODs close to the RRTS stretches

New Delhi:The government’s ambitious plan to connect three major locations in the National Capital Region (NCR) with Delhi through rapid rail would need at least Rs 72,000 crore investment. The urban development ministry is likely to submit this before Parliament during the current session as a part of the annual report of NCR Planning Board (NCRPB). 
    The investment has been calculated as per September 2011 prices. Though there is little chance of the rapid rail transit system (RRTS) becoming functional in the next four years, the planning board in its report has mentioned the ridership of these lines starting from 2016. Sources said huge capital investment and from where this amount would 
come have been major concerns for the government. These have been the main reasons behind the UD ministry still not been able to circulate a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultation. 
    There are reports that Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has talked about treating RRTS as a national project and thereby hinting at the need of the Centre funding the entire project. Sources said such a proposition would be tough and there is a need of states to share the burden to provide better and faster connectivity to people living in these states. 
    The three lines identified would join Delhi with Alwar (via Gurgaon), Meerut (via Ghaziabad) and Panipat (via Sonipat). While Delhi-Alwar would be the longest route covering 180 km, Delhi-Panipat 
would be 111.2 km and the shortest, Delhi-Meerut, would be 90.2 km. 
    On the lines of Delhi planning to develop transit oriented corridors (TODs) along the exiting Metro lines, the NCRPB also proposes to develop TODs close to the RRTS stretches. TODs allow intensive residential and commercial development. The planning board proposes TODs at three locations on the Delhi-Panipat stretch, nine on Delhi-Alwar corridor and four on Delhi-Meerut line. 
    The projections of ridership suggest that people taking these trains would be close to 22.2 lakh. “There is a need to take a decision fast as we cannot avoid putting a robust inter-city transport system. Any delay would mean that cost would go up further,” said a Haryana government official.

Source: TOI (Pg.3, 26 Nov 2012) 

Catfish signals revival of city lakes: Untreated Sewage A Problem

Untreated Sewage A Problem, But Hauz Khas & Neela Hauz Being Cleaned

New Delhi: The recent discovery of a 3.5 feet long catfish in the shallow Hauz Khas Lake had marked a major progression in the revival of the lake, which till some months back had been a smelly cesspool of untreated sewage. Though residents still complain of foul smell from a part of the lake but its biochemical oxygen demand — an indicator of pollution levels — has dropped from 11mg/l to 6 mg/l in a span of six months. 
    A few kilometres away, Neela Hauz continues to languish under an onslaught of untreated sewage. Both water bodies have the same source of water — treated effluent from the Vasant Kunj sewage treatment plant and untreated sewage from Mehrauli and nearby areas. Neela Hauz, over which a flyover was constructed for the Commonwealth Games and should have been restored by October 2010, is now
supposed to be restored by February next year as per a high court order. 
    Debris from the water body was just cleared last week and according to Delhi Development Authority officials, the water body will be restored by the court-set deadline. 
    Plantation will be carried out by next monsoon. While debris dumped by the PWD around the lake during the flyover construction has been removed, a lot of it that subsequently was dumped into the main water body is still to be cleaned out. 
    “The revival plans released by DDA show a much smaller area of the lake compared to what it was before the flyover project began. Our concern is not the peripheral work that DDA will get done on plantation etc. We only want that the water body is preserved properly, and for that untreated sewage must be stopped from entering it and secondly, the area of water should be increased,” said Nitya Jacob, a resi
dent of Vasant Kunj. 
    According to Delhi Jal Board officials, they will be trapping untreated sewage from the Kishangarh area in Mehrauli and diverting it to Vasant Kunj STP. Some institutions, located near the lake, have been discharging their waste into it directly and they have been asked to take corrective measures. 
    The lake will finally be merged with Sanjay Van where efforts by residents have already seen some improvement in water quality of the lake there. 
    From Neela Hauz to Hauz Khas Lake, there are five check dams where residents of nearby areas have introduced fish. These catfish have found their way to Hauz Khas and feed on the carps that were introduced in the lake. 
    The check dams also act as regulators since anytime the flow of untreated sewage increases, they can be shut down. 
    “The Hauz Khas Lake is fed by 
treated effluent from the Vasant Kunj STP, some untreated sewage from the Mehrauli ward and rainwater. The north/northeast side of the water body is deeper and in the shadow zone — meaning it is protected from sunlight and wind. Hence it also looks dirtier. Other than bio-remediation, we have asked DDA to take water from the deep end for gardening, ensure that the pipe from the last check dam to the lake should always have water flowing through it and ensure that aerators work at the deep end,” said Manu Bhatnagar, the principal advisor of environment projects in Intach’s natural heritage division. 
    “We have seen a substantial change in water quality in the past few months,” he added. Intach is working in an advisory capacity with DDA to revive the lake. 
    The lake has started receiving migratory birds as well, but sources say that DDA officials are not following all 
instructions and untreated sewage often finds its way into the lake. 
    “The aerators are also not working and the part of the lake next to the monument is filthy and smelly,” said Rashmi Singh of Green Park.
Source: TOI (pg.9, 25 Nov 2012)

Toilets for women must be safe, close by

New Delhi: While activists across the country have launched an initiative to curb open defecation and urination which, according to World Health Organisation, is the riskiest sanitation practice, women in the national capital still lack access to public toilets. 
    “Giving people access to toilets is not rocket science and we can find a solution. But the authorities lack will,” Anita Bharghav of Let’s Do It Delhi said. Her agency had been working on sanitation in Punjabi Bagh slums with Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board for over two years. 

    A big problem with public toilets, Bhargav said, is the contract between land owning agencies and those in charge of maintaining them. “Land-owning authorities hand over maintenance of public toilets to NGOs. Some give NGOs the right to charge Re 1 or Rs 2 for use of the toilets. But it’s not economically viable to have too many subcontracts,” she said. Her agency is working to increase capacity, build new toilets 
and create better contracts with a replicable model. “Other people can borrow our plans and even improve them if they like,” she said. 
    Another problem is lack of sufficient public toilets for both men and women. A 2012 study on drinking water and sanitation by the WHO and UNICEF reveals that 626 million people in India do not have a closed toilet. It’s the world’s highest number, far ahead of Indonesia, which ranks second at just 63 million. 
    But apart from building more public toilets, there is an urgent need to change the mindset of its intended users. “In our culture, nobody thinks of stopping men from doing anything while women have boundaries. For women, talking openly about basic bodily needs like urinating or defecating is taboo,” Rahul Gaekwad of Right To Pee, a Mumbai-based cam
paign with 35 participating NGOs, said. 
    He says safety, too, is an area of concern for women when they visit public toilets as many are in remote areas, have less light or male attendants. “We want toilets every 
two or three kilometres, women attendants, facilities like sanitary napkins and trash cans,” he said. Though the campaign focusses onwomen, Gaekwad said it will help curb public urination because “who will use the road if there is a facility nearby?” 
    In Bangalore, several initiatives have been taken up to change public behaviour. A street art campaign, The Pee Project, puts up lithographic posters of urinals on city walls to make men think twice before urinating on them. They are not alone. The Ugly Indians, an anonymous group of citizens of Bangalore, works on the motto – k a a m c h a l u , m o o h b a n d h. They have beautified a footpath, which previously served as a garbage dump and local urinal, by clearing obstacles to pedestrians, cleaning, painting walls, adding plants and flowers and maintaining it with the rationale that men will not dirty a clean footpath that people actually use. 

    A new scheme introduced earlier this month in 34 villages in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district aims to change public behaviour through public humiliation. Volunteers with drums and whistles literally blow the whistle on persons they see urinating or defecating in public. Those caught again in the act are liable to be fined. 

Source: TOI (pg 3, 25 Nov 2012) 

Public Toilet Facilites: Build loos, but also toilet train men

Experts Blame Social Conditioning; Suggest Hefty Fines On Offenders

New Delhi: While men urinating on Delhi streets is a common sight, the recent shooting of a 17-year-old girl who tried to stop her 26-yearold neighbour from urinating outside her house has shaken public consciousness. Although there is acute shortage of public toilets in the city, experts say a lot must be done to change the mindset of its menfolk. 
    “It is social conditioning that has to be blamed. We must change mindsets a n d improve infrastructure. At present, there aren’t many toilets, especially for men, in the city,” Nirat Bhatnagar, principal of Quicksand, a multi-disciplinary innovation consultancy, said. 

    The consultancy along with WASHUnited has launched a campaign – Toilets Are Beautiful – in partnership with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to eradicate the twin problems of outdoor defecation and street urination. 
    However, many would disagree with Bhatnagar on one 
count. The erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi did construct some 700-odd urinals for the men of the city but completely forgot its women. And despite allocation of close to Rs 3 crore for women’s toilets in its budget, not a single washroom came up. Post-trifurcation, the three mayors – all women – did nothing to ensure that women have access to clean toilets. “We will do something about it. So far, there has been no proposal for construction of toilets for women,” Annapurna Mishra, mayor of East Delhi Municipal Corporation, said. 
    In absence of public toilets, women often look for a restaurant or mall to relieve themselves. “When I am travelling, I prefer not to drink tea or water. If we must go, we walk into a restaurant to use the facilities,” Shweta Saxena, a garments designer, said. 
    But with men using the public space, especially pavements, instead, it is the pedestrians who have a rough time. In GK-I M Block, the toilet built by the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi lies in disrepair. The traders’ as
sociation claims the new corporation is yet to issue a contract for its maintenance. “The toilet is close to a parking lot and the stench there is unbearable. There are two toilets in the market, neither is maintained,” Rajinder Sharda, chairman of GK-I M Block Traders Association, said. 
    The ratio of the city’s population and number of public toilets is abysmal, experts say. There are fewer than 6,000 public toilets and most are not maintained. “Toilets are not on the government’s priority list,” Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International, said. 

    He believes the government should take up construction of toilets on an urgent basis but impose fine on offenders at the same time. “Though we have to construct new facilities, its maintenance is equally important to encourage people to use it. For street urination, in most foreign countries there is a hefty fine. It makes sense for we must penalize the people who dirty our cities,” Pathak said.

HC rejects review petition against BRT

HC rejects review petition against BRT


New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday rejected a plea for review of its earlier verdict on the BRT corridor in south Delhi. A bench of judges Pradeep Nandrajog and Manmohan Singh accepted Delhi government’s argument that the court should dismiss the review petition as the petitioner NGO never raised the ground of BRT violating Master Plan 2021 in its main PIL, but had raked up the issue in the review petition. 
    The review petition, filed by NGO Nyay Bhoomi through its President B B Sharan, had argued that “MPD 2021 is a statutory plan and has the force of law”. As per the Master Plan, the BRT cannot exist on a road less than 45 metres in width. 
    While rejecting the NGO’s arguments the bench pointed out that as per MPD 2021, apart 
from national highways, arterial roads of two kinds – primary and other primary are conceived of. The plan contemplates BRT corridors on primary roads having ‘ROW’ meaning Right of Way, 30 metres and above and BRT corridors on other primary roads having ROW 45 – 60 metres. Thus, HC clarified, issues pertaining to BRT corridors have to be decided not with reference to the width of a road but with reference to the span of a ‘Right of Way’. 
    According to Nyay Bhoomi’s plea, for smooth traffic flow on the corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand, the government should not restrain any vehicle from plying on the bus lane. 
    The petitioner had pointed out that most of the time the bus lane remains free while cars and other vehicles get stuck in jams for hours.

Source: TOI (pg 7, 23 Nov 2012) 

November 26, 2012

Why flag down Taxis when you live in the CAR- Capital

One thing that strikes me every time I am in Kolkata or Mumbai is how easy it is to move around in these metros even if you don’t have your own car. You can flag down a taxi anywhere and very few refuse going to even an inconvenient destination.
In Kolkata last month, I was surprised that the taxi drivers didn’t even round off the fare to the next multiple of 10 and returned the exact change. I even got a printed receipt. True, some cabbies do act greedy outside the airport or train stations. But elsewhere, they are not known to fleece passengers.
Much is said about Delhi’s love for automobiles. The statistics released last week showed how we further clogged our roads with another 5,00,000 vehicles in just one year. It could well be indulgence for many, adding a car or more to their personal fleet when they should have switched over to public transport.

But I know many who tried taking the Metro but had to pay more for the last mile connectivity than what they would spend for taking their cars. On Delhi roads, the only para-transit available is auto-rickshaws where every ride is a potential nightmare. The guy in front of you cares a hoot for road safety. If he is not drunk, he is surely in a tearing hurry. And if you somehow reach safely, you are almost always overcharged.
Yes, Delhi now boasts of 5,000-odd no-nonsense radio taxis but their minimum response time is half an hour. The 500 authorised cab stands that have metered black and green CNG taxis are hard to locate on the go. In both cases, one anyway ends up paying the return fare, which is factored in the meter rate because the cabbie won’t have a passenger on the way back.
Our cabs run on CNG and can reduce the load on environment — and the city’s crammed parking lots — by dissuading a good number of car-owners. A lot is at stake as more than 700 new cars hit Delhi’s roads every day. No wonder the overhead smog just refuses to budge.
Environment apart, why Delhiites can’t have the privilege of just flagging down a cab like people do in most parts of the rational world? The only excuse of a logic is that autos are allowed everywhere in Delhi — unlike Kolkata and Mumbai — and so taxis are not allowed to be hired on roads. What about those who consider those reckless three-wheelers unsafe? Or those who find open autos inconvenient in Delhi’s scorching summer, freezing winter or when it pours?
Recently, there has been renewed focus on taming the autowallahs in Delhi, breaking the financial cartels by granting 45,000 new permits, and insisting that all vehicles have GPS so there are no complaints of overcharging. But the government refuses to frame a policy for the unregulated street taxi sector.
Taxi stands are one of the biggest encroachers of public land as the civic agencies just let them be. Diesel and petrol run private hire cars running as taxis cause pollution. A proposal to introduce smaller economy taxis that could be flagged down as autos was hurriedly put away. We need to accept that the majority of those used to cars do not feel comfortable in autos. Most auto users, on the other hand, also use taxis when they need and can find.
There is no reason why Delhi cannot offer both choices. Unless we believe that every Delhiite who deserves to travel safely and comfortably in a car already owns and always drives one and the rest are fine risking the reckless, open autos in a city of extreme weathers. Maybe that is why Delhi is the car capital of India.

Source: Hindustan Times (Delhi), Shivani Singh, Metro Editor

November 23, 2012

Yamuna - Capital’s lifeline is now no more than a sewer

Thirty years ago, Delhiites would go to the banks of Yamuna for leisure — swimming, boating, bird watching. Today, the river is no more than a huge open sewer.
The Capital’s lifeline is now no more than a sewer "There were lots of winter birds. There was this private, cordonedoff area with a number of donkeys carrying sand. They were called gadhewale," recalled Rakshanda Jalil, author and heritage lover, as she got nostalgic about her annual childhood family picnics to the Yamuna bank in the early 1970s.
From Nizamuddin (East), her family would drive up to Okhla. "It used to be a day-long adventure. It was a clean, open area with mostly farming activity. On this huge mound of sand, we would go up and come rolling down," she said.
Most Delhiites born after 1970s, or migrants who came later, will find it hard to believe but the Yamuna waterfront was once a place to visit. Swimming, fishing and farming were regular activities.
Dangals (traditional wrestling), kite flying and even boating activities were also prevalent till the 1970s. Sailing and yachting happened too. But as the population grew exponentially, the pressure on the river and its resources increased.
The river was already bearing the load of untreated sewage. And over the years, the authorities completely stopped the flow of fresh water beyond Wazirabad; all the water is diverted from here for drinking purposes. What remains downstream of Wazirabad now is a channel of untreated sewage.
As if that was not enough, the flood plains, which are vital for the recharge of ground water, have been encroached Delhi boasted of over 1,000 water bodies once. Over the years, ‘development’ and pressures of population have spelt disaster for them. upon. One of the culprits is government agencies. (See graphic).
"A river is called so when it has aviral (continuous flow) and nirmal (clean water) flow. Aviral is sine qua non for nirmal," said Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.
The Yamuna today is neither 'continuous' because there is no water left after being diverted for potable use —the city's own quota of water as per the inter- state water sharing act — nor it is 'clean' what with more than a dozen nullahs releasing untreated sewage into it.
Rishi Dev, an architect and an ekistician (holistic planner), said, "While pollution is one of prime factors for Yamuna's death, the other factors are ignorance towards a larger river system network, water carriage system of sewage disposal and improper planning of barrages and drains."
"A biodiversity zone can be created along the major drains so most of the waste is self-cleaned. Revenue too can be generated from these biodiversity zones to maintain the river systems. The hydrology of the Yamuna, which extends up to these drains, should be preserved under the same programme," he says.
Dev also suggested, "Delhi should follow a mixed system of sewage disposal — a combination of the conventional water carriage system where water is used to carry sewage quickly for disposal and the conservancy system of sanitation where sewage or garbage is collected and disposed of separately. Up to the neighbourhood, it should follow the water carriage system, after which it should be converted to the conservancy system."

Misra said, "Time is ripe for change. The existing agreement of 1994 is immoral. It should be revisited and renegotiated. In that process, first allotment should be for the river."

Source: HT (Pg 4, 21 Nov 2012)

November 22, 2012


The Delhi government on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that the 5.8km BRT stretch between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand was perfectly in conformity with Master Plan 2021 and was 45 metres in width.

“The right of way is 30 metres wide and the width of the whole BRT is 45 metres which is conformity with the Master Plan,” senior lawyer KTS Tulsi appearing for the government told a bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog.

The court was hearing a review petition filed by NGO Nyaybhoomi against the court’s October 18 order dismissing its plea for scrapping the project. The court fixed the matters for pronouncing orders on Friday.

The review petition said the court had rejected the plea without dealing with the aspect that the project came up on a road less than 45 metres in width and it was in violation of the Master Plan.

After being convinced by the government that the stretch was 45 metres wide, the judge asked the NGO’s president Col BB Sharan why had he not raised the issue of width of the road in his original petition.

“You need to make it clear if you are challenging the whole concept of BRT or questioning the legality of this particular Ambedkar Nagar-Moolchand stretch,” the bench told Sharan.

The review petition has referred to the court’s observation that the row over the BRT erupted because the government had chosen one of the “narrowest” and most “congested” stretches for its pilot project.

Since May 12 till the dismissal of the petition, the court had been allowing other vehicles on the BRT as part of a feasibility study being undertaken by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).

Source: HT (22 Nov 2012)

32.2% of Households have just a room to call home

Source: TOI (21 Nov 2012)

Thumping increase: city adds 5L Vehicles in a year

Source: TOI (21 Nov 2012)

Reclaiming the City for Street Vendors: The Hindu

The Hindu : FEATURES / SUNDAY MAGAZINE : Reclaiming the city for street vendors

‎"Only the poor are left out.

Vendors depend on an estimated two percent of urban land, but these sites are mostly legally barred to them....The urban plans provide for malls and covered shopping arcades, but the imagination of town planners and officials excludes all shops which are run by the poor, for the poor.

An important central law is currently before Parliament, which promises to correct these inequities. Laudably the law affirms that its purpose is not just to regulate street vending, but also to protect the livelihood rights of street vendors. But in practice, the major part of the Bill is devoted to registration and licensing, and the system that the Bill proposes is still opaque and confusing. It places the burden on persons who wish to vend to apply for registration. There are many dangers inherent in this. Municipalities may establish preconditions such as domicile, they may require documents which poor street vendors will be unable to produce, and they may declare high value current vending markets as ‘non-vending’ zones. It is not clear that all or most registered vendors will automatically be eligible for licenses.

The draft law demonstrates once again how difficult it is to free the livelihoods of poor people from the stranglehold of the bureaucracy. In effect, all the law does is to give the right to a vendor to vend if she or he has a certificate of registration; and this certificate depends on the scheme prepared by the local body, prescribing where vendors may run their businesses, and in what numbers. In material terms, how does this change the situation in which vendors find themselves today?

This can change only if the law mandates that most vendors are registered, and that vending zones and vending capacities are decided through a transparent process, by a broad-based agency which includes representatives of vendors.

In the end, what this entails is an entirely new imagination of the city, which includes the masses of urban poor people as legitimate and legal partners. And, indeed, it entails a new imagination of economic growth, powered not just by the profits of large transnational companies, but the enterprise of millions of the working poor.

November 15, 2012

UTTIPEC at the Sustainable Mobility Event by Shell Foundation in London on 15th-16th Nov 2012

UTTIPEC represented today to speak on Transit Oriented Development, Sustainable Mobility and the role of UTTIPEC in Delhi - at the Sustainable Mobility Event by Shell Foundation in Southbank Centre, London on 15th-16th Nov 2012.

November 11, 2012

November 2, 2012

Soon, audit cell for road projects

NEW DELHI: The problems of potholes on newly constructed roads or entire stretches caving in after rains will soon be addressed. A proposal for setting up an audit cell to check the planning, safety and quality norms in all major infrastructure projects has been given a green signal by the LG's office. The composition of the audit cell is under process, said sources.

"The composition of the audit cell is going to be formalised soon. It will consist of members from institutes such as CRRI, IIT, NCBM (National Council of Building Materials), DTU and others as well as Jagori (for women safety audit)," said a senior official. The proposal will apply to all future projects that come to Unified Traffic and Transportation, Planning and Engineering, Centre (UTTIPEC) for approval.

The audit will consist of two parts: a planning and safety audit of the project that will be taken up before the execution of the project; and an audit of the quality or site check, which will be based on "critical engineering aspects" and will be carried out when the progress of the work is 25-50% and 80% complete. The quality of material such as bitumen, aggregate etc will be checked by taking samples from the site, says the proposal, which gives a check-list of tests that can be carried out. The quality audit team will be empanelled, said the official.

UTTIPEC is also finalising the terms of reference or scope of study which includes submission of detailed design and drawings of the approved plans to facilitate planning and engineering audit during the execution stage, explained sources. "The audit will create a template of design and implementation for all infrastructure projects in Delhi. At present, while third party audits are carried out by the civic agency, there is no basic minimum standard that is maintained across all projects," said the official. These audits will be separate from the third party audit carried out by the agencies. The basis of the two audits will be the street design guidelines as set by UTTIPEC. For the quality audit, the guidelines are the IRC/BIS specifications, added the official.

That current road development and other infrastructure projects require more planning is evident from the independent audits carried out by NGOs. Last month, a joint study by NGOs and an international university found several points of lacunae in the pedestrian and traffic movement plan of Nehru Place. From lack of a designated system for pedestrians to traffic eating into footpaths, the study had showed the lack of safety and planning in the busy commercial hub.

Source: The Times of India, Delhi Edition, 02.11.2012

Source: The Indian Express, Delhi Edition, 02.11.2012