Urban designer, resident of Vasant Kunj, D2
We don’t understand the logic behind widening this road up to 75 metres -- the widest stretch in the Capital. The Ring Road is at its widest stretch is only 60 metres; the Gurgaon-Mehrauli road is 45 metres wide and even the width of Aruna Aasaf Ali Marg is only 30 metres.
Public works department officials argued that this stretch from Andheria Mod (Chhatarpur Metro station) to Mahipalpur had been planned as a 75-metre road in the Delhi’s master plan. But then the government should have built the road before letting the Delhi Development Authority’s colonies to come up on both sides of this stretch.
In the first leg, the government wants to widen the stretch till Masoodpur village. But widening is happening only till Fortis hospital, which is located well before Massodpur. It cannot be extended beyond the hospital because from there on the government does not have land for development.
I am an urban designer myself. I understand basics of street designs. I can show you examples from across the globe.
Road widening is not a solution to traffic jams. The use of automobiles has to be discouraged. But we are not against even this widening. But it should be done in a transparent manner and taking the residents on board.
There are no approvals and no consultations with residents. They are entering our houses, destroying green cover, damaging sewer lines. Is this how you deal with traffic jams? Once this becomes an eight-lane super highway, how do our children go across the road and buy groceries? Remember, Vasant Kunj is a neighbourhood. You cannot alter its life drastically.
We have been holding meetings, meeting up officials and forming human chains to put across our point. We are not against development, but it must have a human face.
(as told to Darpan Singh)