After 50 years, trams will return to Old Delhi

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 04, 2015 23:56 IST

Trams are all set to return to the Walled City.

First introduced in the Capital in 1908 under the British Raj, the trams stopped plying between the Red Fort and the Fatehpuri mosque in the 1960s due to rising congestion in the area.

The Delhi government gave the tram line its go-ahead on Tuesday. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia visited the Walled City early on Tuesday morning and announced that trams would connect areas such as Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Digamber Jain Mandir, Gurdwara Sheesh Ganj, Old Delhi Railway Station and the New Delhi Railway Station.

“The government has decided to carry out several development projects in the area under the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC). To redevelop and take forward this cultural heritage is a challenge but the government has decided to take up this challenge,” said Sisodia.
Hindustan Times on Friday had reported that Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has submitted a detailed project report to Delhi government and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would soon take a decision on it.

The DMRC has proposed a 4.3-km tram line in Chandni Chowk -- one of the busiest, most congested market places in Delhi. However, a 1.6-km section (in front of Old Delhi Railway Station) will be elevated due to lack of space. According to the Metro, the proposed tram line will run in a circular loop staring from the traffic light in front of the Red Fort and will stop at every 200 metres from where passengers can board or deboard.

The width of the three-coach train will be 2.4 metres and it will carry 200 passengers. It will run at a frequency of 5 minutes.
“We want to revive the glory of Old Delhi and tram is an important part of it. Sisodiaji will visit the area again and the SRDC will approve the project within 10 days,” said Alka Lamba, MLA from Chandni Chowk, who is on the board of directors, SRDC.

The government has given enforcement and other powers to the SRDC on the lines of NDMC and Delhi Cantonment Board. “To implement its plans the SRDC will need proper mandate, so we will give it enforcement powers. No work has been done ever since the corporation was constituted. The officers posted with the SRDC got salaries but all they did was planning. Shahjahanabad has a high cultural and historical importance,” said Sisodia.

“We need to not only develop the basic amenities but also turn this into a model so that the people visiting it throughout the world come here and enjoy the cultural and historical legacy,” he said.

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