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25% of Gurugram land consumed by roads: Survey

In Gurugram, untrammelled development of roadways has led to the loss of other valuable public utilities, such as parks, green belts, community centres, schools and other manner of public space, experts and citizens said.

gurgaon Updated: Apr 15, 2019 14:02 IST
Prayag Arora-Desai
Prayag Arora-Desai
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
gurugram,GMDA,SPA survey on gurugram
In Gurugram, untrammelled development of roadways has led to loss of valuable public utilities such as parks, green belts, community centres, schools.(Parveen Kumar / HT Photo )

Of Gurugram’s 732-odd square kilometres, about 25% is currently taken up by road space (roughly 220 kilometres), according to a recent survey by the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi for the Gurugram Municipal Development Corporation (GMDA).

However, mobility and transport experts said that an inclusive city should ideally dedicate not more than 10% of its land for roads.

In Gurugram, untrammelled development of roadways has led to the loss of other valuable public utilities, such as parks, green belts, community centres, schools and other manner of public space, experts and citizens said.

Arunava Dasgupta, professor of urban planning at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, speaking at a conference titled ‘Roads of Gurugram: Boon or Bane?’ on Friday, said, “There are two ways to view a street. One is purely in terms of mobility, implying that the only function of a road is to take you from one place to another. The second view holds that a street is also a place to be, to spend your time, to meet someone, make a living and so on.”

The prescription of planned cities, Dasgupta said, erases this second view, and the important public function of the street, “and it certainly is the case in Gurugram, where pedestrians are made to feel like the streets do not belong to them,” he said.

This inequitable distribution of public space serves mainly the city’s vehicle-owners, who make up only 10% of the city’s population, according to Sarika Panda Bhatt, transport expert and director of Haryana Vision Zero. “In the pursuit of roads and housing, we have forgotten to create vibrant and safe streets.”

Private vehicles, Bhatt said, occupy between 30% and 40% of road real estate. Two-wheelers, on the other hand, make up 30% of the traffic, but don’t have more than 20% of road space. Public transport makes up the rest.

In response to the issue, municipal commissioner Yashpal Yadav said that the MCG was preparing to carry out a survey to delineate a minimum percentage of space to pedestrians and non-motorised transport on all sector roads within its jurisdiction.

V Umashankar, CEO, GMDA, also confirmed that the authority was in the midst of preparing a Comprehensive Mobility Plan with a special focus on non-motorised transport and walking infrastructure, which should be made available to the public by August. The plan, however, was originally due in December 2018 but has been delayed due to problems with data collection, according to GMDA officials.

First Published: Apr 15, 2019 14:02 IST