Connectivity the missing link
Absence of a robust intra and inter-city transport system has failed to integrate the National Capital Region. Sanjeev K Ahuja and Darpan Singh report.india Updated: Jan 28, 2012 00:20 IST
Thirty-three-year-old financial consultant Ritu Singhal spends Rs 700 on private taxis to commute between her Bhikaji Cama Place office in south Delhi and her Noida Sector 31 residence everyday.
“I have spent three years in London and always travelled by the London Tube. If there were direct Metro connectivity to south Delhi, I would have loved to travel by it. The buses are neither safe nor reliable,” Singhal said.
Singhal shares the sentiments of thousands of people who travel between Delhi and the NCR towns of Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad everyday.
Movement of people between NCR towns has increased manifold in the past few years. In the absence of affordable housing, a large number of people who work in Delhi have also shifted there. Many multi-national companies too have offices in Gurgaon and Noida.
Though the Delhi Metro has remarkably improved the public transport between Gurgaon, Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad, the facility is available only to a section of the population.
Poor intra-city traffic and feeder service to the Metro stations in these satellite towns still deprive a large chunk of population of the benefits of the Metro.
The statistics speak for themselves. Of the 190km of Metro network, only 17km run into three NCR towns of Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad. But the combined Metro ridership of the three NCR towns is said to be about 1.8 lakh, 9% of the 20 lakh average daily Metro ridership.
While Delhi Metro plans to extend the Metro network in NCR towns in phase 3 and phase 4, experts believe the government needs to take a holistic approach to improve inter-city transport facility. “The NCR Planning Board has come up with a detailed orbital rapid rail system. It will discourage a lot of unwanted vehicular traffic that come to Delhi everyday. Dedicated bus corridors connecting Delhi with neighbouring cities are also being planned,” transport expert PK Sarkar said.
While several private initiatives are being taken in Gurgaon to improve inter-city and intra-city transport, experts also believe that free movement of taxis and autorickshaws between the cities will help solve various problems.