The Delhi government is planning to make the Capital’s arterial roads pedestrian-friendly during the New Year. The idea is to prevent pedestrians from harm’s way on city roads.
Under this plan, the government, with the help of civic agencies, road engineers and non governmental organisations, will identify the roads where pedestrian facilities are not adequate or at all available. It would then create pedestrian facilities along these roads.
The first preference will be given to roads where maximum accidents take place.
“We are now working on the plan of making Delhi roads pedestrian-friendly,” said R Chandramohan, principal secretary and commissioner, Delhi Transport Department.
“There will be three components of the project — creating footpaths along every road, creating zebra crossings scientifically on roads and creating underpasses,” said KK Kapila, chairman, International Road Federation (IRF), a non government organisation that brings together public and private entities committed to road development.
He said that IRF is associated with the state government in this project.
Delhi Traffic Police, however, feel that government should first ensure that the footpaths become encroachment free.
“Otherwise, creating footpaths will serve no purpose. This will be only possible if the penalty for encroaching footpaths is heftily increased,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic). Currently, the fine for encroachment is R100.
Most of the footpaths along Delhi’s arterial roads are encroached by either small traders or by private cars.
Garg said that pedestrians are the most vulnerable to road accidents on Delhi roads with 40% to 50% pedestrians are killed in road accidents.
This year, till November 30, a total of 874 pedestrians were killed in road accidents while last year the figure was 895.