Uttarakhand capital will have a Delhi-like odd-even vehicular discipline after its experiment with restrictive and awareness drives delivers desired results in the first week of March, district magistrate Ravinath Raman said on Wednesday.
Deharadun district administration has identified traffic congested zones and planned no-car days in some of them, holding traffic workshops, using media channels to encourage people to undertake vehicular disciplines like car pooling, parking vehicles in the designated areas and cooperating with the district administration in anti-encroachment drives.
Raman said the drives had been planned to inspire the residents to abide by the disciplines voluntarily. The results of the experiments would first be reviewed and analysed in April and then the odd-even system would be introduced across the city. The drives would not only ease traffic on major city roads but also help reduce pollution levels, he said.
The pre-odd-even drives would be started on Parade Ground, Astley Hall, Clock Tower, Lansdowne Chowk, Survey Chowk and Rispana which will be made traffic-free along 2 km stretches, he said. For this, parking area would be provided. People could park their vehicles and then can walk till nearby desired destination.
Later on the drive may be extended to other congested areas like Mussoorie diversion, EC Road, Subhash Road, GMS Road, Chakrata Road and Haridwar Road.
Situated 247km from the national capital, Dehradun has a population of 16 lakh as per the 2011 census. The population has gone up by 32% from 2001 census (12 lakh). Regional Transport Office (RTO) Dehradun figures show that there are 8 lakh vehicles registered of which around 2.5 lakh ply daily on the capital roads.
However, the district magistrate admitted that it was a huge task and manpower was less as compared to Delhi.
“In Delhi, there is one police man for 40 persons. In Dehradun there’s one for 1400. We plan to take small steps and after thoroughly studying them, we will approach the government for odd-even rule,” he said.
“We want people’s participation to make this effort a success. It wouldn’t be an order as such in the initial stage. However, we would like voluntary support of locals in this respect,” city magistrate Lalit Narayan Mishra said.
The prominent challenges ahead are dug-up roads and encroachments. The administration has already ordered the Public Works Department (PWD) to level up the roads and asked the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) to ensure encroachment-free main roads.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Traffic Dhirendra Gunjiyal said, “Lack of parking lots is another issue to address. We should have requisite parking areas on every main road.”
Activist Sujata Paul Maliah however suggested, “Students on two wheelers have to be dealt with strictly. A smooth flow of traffic should be ensured by providing parking lots, vehicle parking along main roads should be prohibited.”