Once a sleepy road marked by barracks and a few bungalows, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg is all set for a makeover. The Urban Development Ministry has allotted plots along this road to various trusts, government housing and schools.
The New Delhi district courts and the Comptroller and Auditor General's office are also coming up along this road. The Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) wants to add promenades, food court and give DDU Marg a complete new streetscape.
But the elevated East-West corridor planned through the middle of this road will ruin the area, says the DUAC.
“The city is going to get a new street altogether with plenty of greenery, walkways and community facilities. The CPWD is going to construct new residential apartments and there will be schools and other institutional buildings in place of the barracks. But all the effort will come to a naught with the elevated transport corridor,” said Jasbir Sawhney, member DUAC.
The East West-Corridor also ignores the fact that a completely new railway station with 8,00,000 square feet of built-up area is going to come up and the new MCD Civic Centre is coming up on Minto Road. All these developments will generate a lot of traffic and a new flyover will be needed at Minto Road T-junction. Hence an integrated approach needs to be adopted before any clearance is given, Swahney said.
He added that the Art Commission had suggested a surface East-West link with emphasis on public transport so that public funds are utilised in a way that will benefit all road users and not just private cars.
“We had objected to East-West corridor because it does not look at the urban areas it passes through in an integrated way.
In the past, whenever we have under pressure cleared flyover projects, the suggestions we made for adding pedestrian pathways, locating bus stops and facilitating other road users, were never complied with. We are only trying to solve problems and improve the aesthetic look of the projects before us,” the member said.