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Prop up Chandigarh's public transit system to combat clogged roads, say HT readers

Roads connecting Chandigarh with its periphery have become major bottlenecks, reflecting a complete lack of urban planning and traffic management.

chandigarh Updated: May 04, 2015 12:03 IST
Hindustan Times
traffic,Chandigarh,public transit system

Roads connecting Chandigarh with its periphery have become major bottlenecks, reflecting a complete lack of urban planning and traffic management. In such a scenario, improving public transit system is a viable solution. If the number and frequency of buses are increased and well-chalked-out route plans are put in place, tricity and sururban residents will be encouraged to adopt this mode of commuting. Better infrastructure in the form of bypasses and flyovers on the city;s periphery will also go a long way in removing traffic bottlenecks.


Increase bus frequency to make residents shun personal vehicles
It is evident from the clogged roads in the tricity that the public transit system in Chandigarh is inefficient. People commuting from the suburban areas prefer their own vehicles. The administration should enhance the frequency of buses in the tricity, especially the suburbs, to ensure that daily commuters shun their vehicles. At the same time, following the Supreme Court directives for safety and security of women commuters, women constables should be deployed on buses at late hours. Also, for better traffic management, the traffic department must collaborate with FM channels to give timely detour alerts to city residents.

Introduce minibuses within sectors
Time is at a premium. We have less time but more to do. If minibuses are introduced within sectors to ferry residents from their doorsteps, it will go a long way in reducing the use of personal vehicles. Also bottlenecks, such as narrow bridges, should be removed. Long-term solutions in the form of underpasses, overpasses, flyovers and metro rail are always mired in controversies but they have to be taken up seriously, not only for the tricity but also areas beyond it.

Expedite metro rail project
Daily commuters from Panchkula are a harried lot while stuck in bumperto-bumper traffic between Housing Board Chowk and Transport Chowk. There has been no action on an additional road from Kalagram light point to the Capitol Complex to ease traffic congestion. With the UT, Punjab and Haryana bureaucrats unable to sort out trivial issues, metro rail project, too, has been delayed.
SC LUTHRA, MHC, Manimajra

Introduce grid system for bus routes
The tricity is ideal for introducing a grid system for bus routes. To facilitate the commuters, a mobile application based on global positioning system (GPS) should be developed. This should be a joint enterprise of the UT, Punjab and Haryana. By simple logic, since the city road surface area is almost fixed and vehicles are multiplying by the day, there is no escape from constructing flyovers and underpasses. The metro, on the other hand, is an enormously costly project.

CTU must improve its service
Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) must work towards improving its service. Every bus must halt at every bus stop. The route of every bus should be displayed near the entrance. Every ordinary bus should be followed by an air-conditioned bus on the same route.
PS SAWHNEY, Chandigarh

Buses the most convenient way to commute
Buses are the most convenient way for people to commute. Bus fares should not be more than Rs 5 or Rs 10. Even if the administration has to bear some revenue losses due to this low fare, it is worth it. For future, the metro rail is the only viable alternative to the increasing number of private vehicles.

Run more buses on local routes
We should follow in Singapore’s footsteps where around 65% commuters use public transportation. Similarly, about 70% of the Delhi population has reportedly shifted to public transport. The UT administration should purchase at least 500 more buses for V-5 roads. The fleet should be operated by employees recruited on regular basis. Adopting such means of commuting along with better traffic management will save our money, reduce pollution in the City Beautiful and also conserve fuel.
SK KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Introduce private-vehicles-off days
Improving the local bus service and induction of two “private-vehicles-off days” in a week seems the only viable solution. Moreover, it is not just the road infrastructure but the behaviour of some vehicle owners that is causing problems. Many motorists and riders resort to race to nowhere, robbing law-abiding citizens of a smooth ride. A single person, who can travel on public transport, can be seen driving a car. Three-wheelers are convenient to passengers, but their operators flout traffic rules regularly.

Restrict number of cars owned by each family to two
Chandigarh was not planned for such an onslaught of population. Officegoers and short-distance commuters are put to inconvenience due to heavy traffic and limited parking spaces. At least 100 more buses should be inducted in the public transport system. Also, the number of cars owned by each family should be restricted to two. Residents should be encouraged to use cycles. The traffic police should be more efficient to remove bottlenecks and minimise traffic jams. The superintendent of police (traffic) and his staff should be on the move to sort out the problems. That will also give more confidence to people and help in checking traffic violations.

Transport system needs a revamp
Chandigarh was developed with a narrow vision, causing the present situation in a short span of 60 years. The deteriorating condition is further compounded by land mafia that has constructed unplanned colonies around the city. There is inadequate space to widen the roads. The parking spaces are totally inadequate as these spaces have not been planned as per international standards. Residential area roads, too, are narrow and cannot cater to the needs of residents. In such non-elastic situation, a very daredevil town planning is the only answer. The transport system needs a revamp to encourage all residents to avail themselves of it. Mass rapid transport system is also needed to address the problem. Also, multistorey parking and flyovers should be constructed.

Resolve issues between transport authorities
Welfare, comfort and convenience of commuting residents are a collective responsibility of the authorities in the tricity. Road connectivity, underpasses and service lanes are must for any successful public transport system. The confrontation between transport authorities, especially CTU and Haryana local service, should be resolved. Also, auto-rickshaws should be treated as an integral part of public transport system.

Introduce rapid transit system
There is a need for a rapid transit system to control traffic chaos. The metro rail project is another solution to the problem of ever-increasing number of vehicles on roads.
DP GAUTAM, via email

Public transport needed on internal roads as well
Chandigarh was a cyclist’s paradise when it came into being and people from different walks of life started living here in late 50s and 60s with very few cars and scooters. Most residents, even top bureaucrats and other big shots, preferred commuting to their respective offices on cycles. Half a century down the line, Chandigarh roads are clogged with cars and two-wheelers. The need of the hour is a very efficient and regular public transport system covering the entire length and breadth of the city, especially the internal roads in every sector.


Develop a ring road
There is a lack of planning keeping in mind the development of new townships on the periphery. There is a need to create a “ring road”, like in Delhi, that could connect roads leading to Chandigarh to ease pressure at certain points. Also, a bypass should be created at Dera Bassi, allowing only heavy traffic to be diverted for Chandigarh,Ropar. A bypass Kalka, from LudhianaBanur to andthe Sector 43 bus terminus will also ease the situation. Better and effective road management and traffic regulation will go a long way in solving the problem.

Make separate lanes for heavy vehicles
Heavy vehicles should be made to use separate lanes. The traffic police should focus on helping and guiding drivers and not just fining them. The UT and Punjab and Haryana governments should construct bypasses for heavy vehicles from Dera Bassi, Kurali, Kharar, Morinda, Zirakpur, Panchkula and Kalka.

Construct bypass at Kharar
The Kharar bus stand should be shifted and traffic lights should be installed at other crossings. Instead of widening of roads, which will invite litigation by those being affected, a bypass can be constructed. A broad ring road around “Greater Chandigarh”will also be helpful.

Decentralise transport area
A centralised transport area leading to congestion by heavy vehicles can be decentralised into three on the city’s boundary: one on Delhi road, second on Himachal side and the third on Punjab side. A circular road bypassing the city and connecting the three transport areas will help in checking tax evasion as well as decongesting the roads.
RP MALHOTRA, Panchkula

Traffic management is must
Widening of Mullanpur Road at Khuda Lahora and removal of the “mess”on Kharar Road are needed urgently. Construction of flyovers, shelved so far, must be reconsidered. Traffic management, i.e. lane driving, proper segregation of traffic and detour alerts on proper points, can be helpful.

Synchronise traffic lights
Chandigarh enjoys a reputation of having highest number of per capita vehicles in the country. The traffic is usually controlled by traffic lights. A careful planning for complete synchronisation of traffic lights is required. The time delays at each light point should be reworked during peak hours. For example, commuters coming from Panchkula should get a minimum of four minutes of green signal throughout Madhya Marg and Purv Marg. Time delays for green and red signals on side roads converging into these main roads should also be carefully synchronised accordingly. A pilot should be initiated before implementing this system on all the points leading to Chandigarh. In case of inevitable traffic bottlenecks, traffic should be diverted manually. Radio announcements for traffic diversions will also be effective during peak hours.

Develop a concerted plan
The public transport will be able ease the congestion only if the existing roads are able to bear the extra load of buses. There is an immediate need to construct underpasses and flyovers at all congested roundabouts. Also, the ministry of home affairs should develop a plan to manage the real estate development as per the traffic in the tricity and its suburbs. On the lines of National Capital Region (NCR), the Government of India should consult Punjab and Haryana to develop a State Capital Region (SCR) to make such planning possible.
SUKHPAL SINGH, via email

Divert Nayagaon traffic
Traffic from or to Nayagoan should be diverted and not allowed to move towards northern sectors. Twowheeler drivers should show more road sense. Immediate action is needed to address the problem.


Implement lane driving
The problem of clogged roads to the city cannot be solved with improved public transport system. With greater purchasing power and increase in private vehicles, there is bound to be lesser dependence on public transport. Lane driving should be introduced to segregate fast-moving traffic from slow-moving means of transport. Overtaking of vehicles needs to be limited at few points. Bypasses will prevent convergence of local commuters with all types of vehicles coming from outside.

Flyovers the only solution
Seeing the mismanagement of public transport system, it becomes doubtful if Chandigarh is a planned city. There seems to be only one solution — flyovers connecting Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. If the state governments of Punjab and Haryana join hands with the UT, the work can be completed in no time.

First Published: May 04, 2015 09:59 IST