The document also requires that agencies draft a Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) to integrate all levels and modes of urban transport and move towards low-carbon transit systems.
The document also requires that agencies draft a Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) to integrate all levels and modes of urban transport and move towards low-carbon transit systems.

Drop in private vehicle use, better last-mile transit in vision document

Experts who reviewed the draft MPD 2041 said the document correctly addresses the city’s changing transport requirements, even as it leaves some of the basics intact.
By Sweta Goswami, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 10, 2021 01:24 AM IST

Agencies in the national capital will have to ensure a 1% drop in private vehicular trips every year and increase the use of public and shared transport by the same quantum each year, said the draft Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2041, which was made public for comments on Wednesday.

The draft, which will serve as a vision document for the city’s development over the next 20 years, aims to improve the city’s mobility network by making public transport available to residents within walking distance, building strategic road links to decongest the city, disincentivising travel in private vehicles through congestion pricing and dynamic parking charges, and reimagining the Ring Rail.

Experts who reviewed the draft MPD 2041 said the document correctly addresses the city’s changing transport requirements, even as it leaves some of the basics intact. For instance, shared mobility in the form of app-based taxi and the concept of carpooling have been included in the city planning document for the first time. At the same time, the document also reiterates a long-standing demand for a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMPTA).


The document also requires that agencies draft a Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) to integrate all levels and modes of urban transport and move towards low-carbon transit systems.

The Delhi Economic Survey (2019-20) said though the annual growth rate of vehicle sales almost halved to 4.4% for the 2019-20 fiscal,the number of vehicles in the city has more than doubled to 643 per thousand people, from 317 in 2005-06. This increase has also consequently led to a surge in parking demand.

Delhi has more than 10 million registered vehicles, of which 7.3 million are two-wheelers, shows state government data.

State transport minister Kailash Gahlot said MPD 2041 calls for greater coordination and cooperation of all agencies in the city, including the Delhi government, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Delhi Police and the civic bodies.

“It is good to see that the MPD 2041 mentions Delhi’s parking policy, which is one-of-its kind in India, at length and has reiterated that the municipal corporations must expedite formulating their respective area parking management plans. The draft MPD is mostly a wrap of the Delhi government’s flagship transport projects, including the electric vehicle policy, premium bus scheme, real-time public information system for buses and the plan to convert bus depots into multi-level facilities to increase parking space,” he said.

Gahlot added Delhi has more than 6,700 state-run buses, which will increase to around 11,000 buses in the coming years.

“We are also redeveloping all bus terminals, setting up new ones and making transit-oriented development (TOD) nodes at Kashmere Gate, Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan. The RRTS [Regional Rapid Transit System] and the expansion of the Delhi Metro are going to help create some of the biggest multi-modal transport hubs of the country in Delhi,” he said.

The document also recommends corridors that will act as “road links”, or extensions of existing or proposed arterial corridors to improve inter-city connectivity, including the Urban Extension Road 2.

The document notes that buses are the preferred and most accessible public transport system.

“A detailed analysis of Public Transport Accessibility Levels (PTAL) shall be adopted for the city. This shall be operationalised through an expert agency to be updated and notified from time to time. PTAL mapping will help evaluate the public transport outreach and spatially distinguish high-accessibility areas from low. The analysis shall include all shared modes with fixed routes and fixed fares, including contract IPT modes such as Gramin Seva, autorickshaws, maxi cabs, RTVs, etc., apart from buses, metro rail and their feeder services. Based on such an analysis, the entire city can be divided into different grades,” it stated.

The MPD also said the emergence of shared mobility options, complemented by the expansion of the metro network, is gradually changing mobility choices made by commuters from private ownership to shared or public transport-oriented options. It also suggests running special Metro and bus services at night, apart from operating express transport routes.

“Ring Rail, a part of Delhi’s legacy infrastructure, is being used for transporting freight and is presently running at only 50% of its potential passenger ridership. While the Ring Rail plays a significant role in freight transport and keeps almost 20,000 trucks off Delhi’s roads, its role in transporting people needs to be re-imagined,” the document said.

To promote the use of cleaner transport systems, the MPD mandates all new fuel stations to have space for charging infrastructure. “Fuel stations, Metro station parking, railway parking areas, authorised on-street parking or other government-owned parking shall be retrofitted with EV [electric vehicle] charging infrastructure,” it said.

To address the marginal rise in cycling use and make the city more pedestrian-friendly, the document proposes that ‘active travel areas’ be identified around high activity hubs and that “walk plans” be prepared for these areas to improve pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, including cycling highways.

The vision document also lays out a hierarchy of roads to be followed in the city. These include national highways (60-90 metres wide), arterial roads (30-60m), collector roads (12-30m) and local streets (less than 12m). Of the four categories, only local streets have been prescribed to have slow moving traffic (through traffic calming measures), along with pedestrian lanes.

Madhav Pai, executive director of the WRI India Ross Center, said the draft MPD 2041 is contradictory in some aspects.

“The ambition to improve walking and cycling is great, but this vision is against the fast roads proposed in the draft MPD. Fast roads (wider than 45 metres) should be designed for speeds less than 60kmph and for roads narrower than 30m. The design speed should be less than 30kmph,” he said.

Pai hoped that UMTA, a demand that has not implemented in two decades, will be constituted now.

“The MPD sets out a good vision for transport. Implementation will require strong co-ordination, negotiation between the central, state and local governments. So, operationalising the UMTA as early as possible will be important,” he said.

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