No more tramping around
If a proposed plan to redevelop Chandni Chowk is approved and the old, yellow trams return, the hazards of walking around the congested thoroughfare will be history, reports Neelam Pandey.delhi Updated: Jun 15, 2009 03:09 IST
Delhi’s world-class metro system has already fixed the Capital as the It city as far as public transport goes. And now, another fleet of wheels could be set to ferry Delhi — in the form of a revived tram service.
After almost a gap of 46 years, the streetcar service may run through the Capital again, although in a new, modern avatar. For old residents of Chandni Chowk and surrounding areas, the trams would take them on a trip down memory lane.
The trams — to be introduced under the Chandni Chowk redevelopment plan—will replace the green CNG-run minibuses currently plying in the area after a ban on cycle rickshaws by Delhi High Court.
“The Chandni Chowk redevelopment plan is yet to be finalised. Our consultant for the project has suggested the revival of tram service as it is environment friendly and help decongest traffic,” said a senior MCD official. “A final decision will be taken soon.”
If the plan comes through, the tram service will be launched from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. Trams will ply on the main Chandni Chowk road, just a few meters away from the Chandni Chowk underground metro station.
Under the plan, a total of four metre-gauge trams, each having a capacity of 20 people, will run on the southern carriageway of Chandni Chowk from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid.
“We will have two tracks on the southern carriageway while one tram will go from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. The other one will make a journey back from the Masjid to Red Fort,” added the official.
Streetcars used to run in Chandni Chowk during the British period but it was closed in 1963. The new plan will not only bring back the trams but also resculpt Chandni Chowk.
“Once the trams are reintroduced in the area, the northern carriageway of the Chandni Chowk stretch will be used for vehicular traffic but people will not be able to park here,” said the official. “The traffic will not be allowed to enter from the Red Fort side to ease congestion. Traffic will enter through H C Sen marg, Townhall area, or from the Fatehpuri side.”
As part of the plan, pedestrians will have more walking space as footpaths will be made approximately six metres wide. The three-metre-wide lanes of northern carriageway will be changed into 3.5-metre lanes. Also the number of lanes will be reduced from three to two for the northern carriageway.
People visiting Chandni Chowk will be able to park their vehicles at Parade ground parking, which will be turned into multilevel parking. In addition, there would be Gandhi ground underground multilevel parking and Dangal ground parking.
Apart from footpath-widening, streetscaping would also be carried out. Ducts would be created so that all the cables, electricity wires would be shifted in the underground space.