Tech body for rickshaws in Walled City
Should rickshaws be allowed to ply on highly congested Chandni Chowk’s historical main road? Residents and traders of the area would unanimously say ‘no’.delhi Updated: Jul 13, 2011 00:31 IST
Should rickshaws be allowed to ply on highly congested Chandni Chowk’s historical main road? Residents and traders of the area would unanimously say ‘no’.
Last year in February, the Delhi high court, in an order, had stated: “The court does not, in the present circumstances, hold that zoning restrictions on the ban on the use of rickshaw on arterial roads is illegal or unjustified.”
But recently, the governing body of Unified Traffic & Transportation Infrastructure (Planning & Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC), a technical body that approves all infrastructure projects in the city, has recommended allowing cycle rickshaws in main Chandni Chowk.
According to the minutes of UTTIPEC’s 29th governing body meeting “As per the cycle rickshaw policy formulated by the task force group under the chief secretary, cycle rickshaws will have the right to ply on all roads including arterial roads with segregated lane provision.”
“Feasibility tests to make separate lanes for rickshaws have been conducted thrice in last few years, but have always failed. Banning rickshaws in the area is the only way out to ease congestion,” said Sanjay Bhargava, general secretary, Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal.
The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO) had conducted scientific surveys in the area a few years ago. Based on their recommendations, the government had banned movement of rickshaws in Chandni Chowk between 9am and 8pm and introduced CNG-run eco-friendly buses.
“After imposition of the ban and introduction of CNG buses, the traffic condition in the congested area had drastically improved and travelling in and out of the 1.25km road had become trouble-free. Regular traffic chocking and congestions were also not seen,” said Bhargava.
However, Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic), had this to say on the issue: “We can’t restrain rickshaws from plying on the arterial road as there is no governing law that empowers us to do that.” A draft cycle rickshaw act is pending with high court, he said.