Vikas Marg to go car-free today from 8am to 4pm
This will be the first instance of the day being observed on a week day. The previous car-free days fell on a public holiday and weekend.delhi Updated: Dec 22, 2015 00:23 IST
Vikas Marg, a key arterial road that connects trans-Yamuna areas to Central Delhi, will remain car-free for a better part of the day on Tuesday. No private cars would be allowed on the nearly three-kilometre stretch between Laxmi Nagar Metro station and Karkari Mor from 8 am to 4 pm.
The Delhi government has been observing car-free days on 22nd of every month since October this year. The third in that series on Tuesday, however, would be the most challenging for the authorities to implement as this would be the first exercise on a regular week day — the previous two fell on a public holiday and weekend, respectively.
While transport minister Gopal Rai conceded it would prove most challenging, on the positive side he underlined that this would be the first stretch taken up for the scheme that is well connected to the Metro network.
“Three Metro stations are located overhead the stretch on Vikas Marg — Laxmi Nagar, Nirman Vihar and Preet Vihar. So people coming to the area from other parts can take a Metro and then use intermediary public transport for last-mile connectivity. The local residents are also advised to take the Metro. Those living in the vicinity and willing to move out in their cars can take alternate routes for exit,” said Rai, adding that the DTC would also run 20 shuttle buses between Anand Vihar and ITO.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal would lead the cycle rally on Vikas Marg on Tuesday morning besides launching the Poocho App at the event.
Meanwhile, residents are happy that the move is being implemented.
“Traffic and pollution are the biggest problems here. Apart from the fact that the main road is unbearably congested, the traffic also makes the narrower street impossible to walk on. We have to stand and wait for a long time before we cross the street, hardly two meters wide,” complained Bhagwan Das, 60, shop owner at Laxmi Nagar market.
The stretch is among the five most congested roads in the Capital. According to Delhi Traffic Police data, over 80,000 vehicles cross the stretch every day.
“We try to go away once every few months just to get ourselves away from all the pollution in the city. Delhi is a great place for commerce, but it isn’t the best place to live in with one’s family. It is good that the government has planned this, but it should be compulsory and not just voluntary,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, a 40-year-old, resident of the area.
Other residents echoed similar concerns.
“I have to stand for hours in the traffic before I can take my passengers to their houses nearby,” says Nathu Lal, rickshaw driver, 52.
(With inputs from Devika Sen and Sharad Akavoor)