Roads in south Delhi’s prominent Alaknanda locality carry three times more traffic than its original capacity while on-street parking in Chittaranjan Park is 3.15 times more than the designated space.
A study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on three south Delhi localities - Alaknanda, CR Park and Greater Kailash - has revealed these startling facts about the unprecedented congestion and lack of any official planning in Delhi colonies.
The CSE, in its first (of a series) report titled ‘Know your Neighbourhood , Move Free: Unlocking the traffic gridlock in our neighbourhoods’, has focused on the key congested stretch of the Alaknanda Road flanked by its residential complexes, markets and schools that are surrounded by Greater Kailash Part II and Chittaranjan Park.
“During peak hours, the time taken to cross this stretch nearly doubles. This adds to pollution, congestion, daily stress and trauma of local residents. During winter, this area records some of the worst pollution levels. Ironically, when the Delhi government is promising more buses, some parts of the city -like Chittaranjan Park - have suffered massive curtailment of bus services to make way for cars. Lack of public transport, poor and unsafe local access and free parking has turned this area into a congestion nightmare,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, CSE, and head of its air pollution control unit.
According to her, micro level focus is required to solve larger issues.
“Everyone is looking at big arterial roads and solution like public transport. However, there is also a need to look at what is happening at the doorstep of residents. If the localities are clogged, the residents are becoming a part of the problem as well as victims. Big solutions for the city will come from local solutions,” the CSE executive director said, adding that similar surveys will be conducted across localities in Delhi.
Delhi Traffic Police chief Muktesh Chander pointed out that the road network in Delhi is not in pace with the vehicular growth and the gap was increasing everyday.
“The load on the road is increasing and this is not only contributing to the congestion but also to pollution. Every day over 1500 vehicles are added on the roads of the Capital,” said Chander.
He also said that the government should work towards strengthening the public transport system in the city. In Singapore, for example, people pay twice the cost of a new vehicle as taxes to the government. This becomes a deterrent for people to travel by personal vehicles.