Giving priority to pedestrians, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government is set to improve facilities on foot overbridges (FOBs) and subways in the city.
The Public Works Department (PWD) is conducting a study in this regard on the busiest FOBs in the city. Facilities like lifts and escalators are in the offing.
There are 73 FOBs in the city and the government is planning to construct 60 more at important intersections. “We are conducting a study to check the inflow of pedestrians. At least 60 new FOBs are needed and the existing ones need to be revamped. Around 37 FOBs have either a lift or an escalator. These facilities will be extended to other FOBs also,” said a PWD official.
Also, the government is planning to grant the charge of maintenance to a private company through Public Private Partnership.
“This will reduce financial burden on the government. PWD minister Satyendar Jain has asked the department for a feasibility study. We have to figure out how the private player will earn revenue. There will be advertising space, which the company responsible for maintenance can use,” the official said.
The new FOBs will have ramps and escalators, and since Delhi receives substantial amounts of rain, the government is planning to have lifts at many places. “Escalators often become dysfunctional in case of a rain. For that, we have proposed to have glass-door lifts. A security guard will also be posted, and that is why we are planning to give maintenance to private parties,” the official added.
The government is also mulling over allotment of space for shops at subways and FOBs to generate revenue. However, it should also ensure the footpaths and FOBs are not encroached up on, many feel.
“Improving the facility for pedestrians is a good idea as they need to be looked after. The government should ensure there is no encroachment on footpaths and FOBs. The access to pedestrian bridge should be hindrance free,” said Rohit Baluja, president of Institute of Road Traffic Education.
Meanwhile, government officials are of the view that the facilities for pedestrians need to be increased to encourage non-motorised transport, which could reduce congestion and pollution.
“An ideal road is where everyone has the designated space —pedestrians, cyclists, cars and public transport. In future, movement for pedestrians will be made smooth by removing all obstacles. There will be FOBs with glass lifts and elevators,” said a government official.
In Delhi, about 35% of the commuters “only walk” for transport, the official said. These commuters are different from the ones who walk to catch the public transport. “In spite of the enormous motorisation, the highest share of people still walks. Naturally, we need to improve the facility for them. Then, to decongest roads, we need to give more importance to public transport. So, there is going to be a dedicated lane for buses at a majority of roads,” the official further said.
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