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We need radical solutions

A new flyover is thrown open every month, a new subway starts functioning at the same frequency and the Metro expands in inches. It’s time Delhi thought of solutions to its persisting traffic woes. HT looks at five major traffic choke-points in a five-part series...

delhi Updated: Apr 01, 2008 02:17 IST
Sidhartha Roy

A new flyover is thrown open every month, a new subway starts functioning at nearly the same frequency and the Metro expands in inches. It’s time, say experts, Delhi thought of radically different solutions to its persisting traffic woes.

The Ashram Chowk crossing in South Delhi has two flyovers but the jams there show no signs of letting up. Roads to Dwarka don’t look any lighter post Metro and officer-goers of CGO complex continue to ignore the subway made for them.

And here is the rub: it’s not gong to get any better. The number of vehicles hitting Delhi roads every day stands at 52 lakhs, growing at six per cent every year. The holding capacity of the roads, on the other hand, has grown only marginally. “Factor in 45 minutes of extra time when going to office,” said S.M. Sarin, former Director of the Central Road Research Institute. That’s one solution, but hardly radical and, truth be told, quite grim.

Traffic police chief S.N. Shrivastava believes the chaos is temporary and will go away once all the construction work happening on the roads finish, in about two years. “Things would improve then,” he added.

P.K. Sarkar, head of the transport department, School of Planning and Architecture, said the government should look at staggering office hours to de-congest peak hour traffic. “People would have to avoid peak hours and those who can manage it, would start working from home to avoid the traffic,” he said.

How about a cutting a deal with your ego and shifting to public transport such as buses, Metro or rail? Shrivastava believes that’s the way forward. Give the big beauties a break let them stay in the driveway.