You will soon find iron grills on the central verge of various roads giving way to green.
Sprucing up roads for Commonwealth Games 2010, the Delhi government has decided to do away with the ugly and broken steel railings. Instead, there will be concrete central verges segregating the two carriageways of roads with aesthetically beautiful and environment-friendly plants.
Officials said not only do iron railings look ugly, they are often broken or stolen. Protruding iron bars prove dangerous to both vehicular traffic as well as pedestrians crossing the roads. A case in point is the stretch of Ring Road near Inter State Bus Terminal, Kashmere Gate where anti-social elements removed steel bars from railings and sold them.
According to senior Delhi government officials, there was initially a plan to replace iron railings on roads connecting several Commonwealth Games venues. Slowly, iron railings on all roads would be replaced with green dividers.
“We will initially take up those central verges which are either damaged or those roads where new central verges have to be built,” said AK Sinha, principal chief engineer, public works department. “A small stretch of central verge near Mother Dairy’s plant in east Delhi has been beautified with plants.”
Sinha said the height of the central verges would be raised from 45 cm to 60 cm to prevent pedestrians from crossing over. The concrete dividers will have gaps, especially near intersections, to help pedestrians cross.
About 90 km of PWD roads are being identified for this project, officials said. Plants like hedges and bougainvillea will be planted on the central verge. To ensure regular watering of plants, methods like rainwater harvesting or watering by tankers would be adopted, a senior PWD engineer said.
According to officials, several groups of landscape artists have shown interest in preparing a design for such dividers.
The MCD is also planning to replace railings with plants.
MCD spokesperson Deep Mathur said roads, which are being improved for the Commonwealth Games, will have green plants instead of railings.
Petition in SC seeks review of Games Village
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking re-examination of its judgement giving the go-ahead for construction of the Commonwealth Games Village on the banks of the Yamuna.
The petition seeking review of the July 30 judgement has been filed by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), a body set up to protect and conserve natural and cultural heritage.
INTACH said the setting aside of the Delhi High Court verdict for appointment of an expert committee to review the constructions on the Yamuna riverbed will cause serious damage to the river ecology and needs to be reviewed.
It said the apex court based its decision only on the NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) report of 2008 and did not take into account the Environmental Impact Assessment of 2006, which said a major part of the project is built on the Yamuna flood plains.
They said the high court had found the NEERI report to be an afterthought and “tailor-made” to suit the needs of the DDA, which is executing the project.
They said that the NEERI 2008 report cannot be termed a scientific report of experts and the presence of a bund cannot change the character of the riverbed or flood plain.