Friday, May 24, 2024

Delhi Road Infrastructure: Contrasting Flyovers and Bumpy Roads | Delhi News – Times of India

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New Delhi: Delhi’s 2023 budget announced the intent to create “world-class roads” in the city, for which around Rs 22,000 crore was allocated. However, the project to upgrade and maintain 1,400km of arterial roads for 10 years hasn’t been executed.
In the revised budget estimates at the end of the 2023-24 financial year, the Public Works Department received Rs 334 crore for repairing district roads and Rs 80 crore for resurfacing arterial roads.Govt also provided Rs 175 crore under the 10-year maintenance plan and Rs 75 crore for constructing roads and bridges.

A Tale Of ‘Two Cities’: Bumpy Roads Contrast With Flyovers, Old & New

While on the one hand, PWD is constructing double-decker flyovers accommodating motor vehicles on the lower tier and Delhi Metro on the top, there are umpteen bumpy rides on several important roads in central, east and south Delhi. These require the immediate attention of PWD.
Currently, the agency is working on seven flyovers across the city, with a few more in the pipeline. In 2021, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal envisioned a “world-class transformation” of the city roads and a pilot was carried out on the streetscaping of 16 roads. The execution of these pilots was largely successful, providing a new model for the city. However, with the project not being extended to many other parts of the capital, the roads and their environs have remained poor and dusty, contributing also to air pollution.
PWD manages around 1,400km of roads in the city. These are mainly roads that are 60 feet or more wide. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi looks after the bigger chunk of roads, most of them colony roads that together span a huge 15,582km.
The ambitious 10-year road maintenance plan disrupted the existing system and has been restructured into smaller packages. In 2022, PWD initiated a similar extensive plan called “one road per week per zone”, but after covering a few localities, the project was discontinued. Instead, as officials reported, road resurfacing is done as and when required.
As Delhi approaches its saturation point in terms of road infrastructure development, agencies have shifted their focus to beautification. This was a significant effort in the runup to the G-20 Summit in Sept last year when both the state and central govts allocated funds.
Sculptures, fountains and extensive greenery were installed at traffic islands and barren stretches of roads to enhance the road user’s experience. However, road repair and strengthening have been inadequate. As S. Velmurugan, chief scientist and head, Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, Central Road Research Institute, observed: “Road beautification is fine, but smooth and clear roads with proper signage that make navigation hassle-free is something that people in a global city like Delhi should enjoy. We should also aim for pedestrian friendly roads.”
According to PWD officials, a priority plan is in place to address road strengthening in different areas. Additionally, under the summer action plan, 10,000 trees will be planted along roads, footpaths and central verges.

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