NGO opposes transport policy outlined in the DP

Apr 22, 2013, 03:17 IST | Sukirt D. Gumaste

Civic activists and NGOs from the city have taken strong objection to the transport policies of the Development Plan (DP) by stating that it is entirely contrary to the principles of sustainable transport as advocated by the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) and the city's own Comprehensive Mobility Plan, (CMP) which was approved in 2012.

It was expected that the DP and the CMP should complement one another and help to achieve the overall objective of increasing public transport and non-motorized transport models.  As CMP and NUTP emphasises on the increasing the use of public transport by efficiently implementing BRT, Metro and other modes, it discourages the use of private vehicles. 

Focal point: PMC building in Shivajinagar. File Pic

According to a study conducted by NGOs Parisar and Nagarik Chetana Manch, large number of projects that aren’t in the CMP are not justified on the basis of any traffic study and primarily cater at augmenting the requirement of personal motorised vehicles.  “There is a proposal for 30 flyovers, 11 foot-over bridges and 30 pedestrian subways. The CMP advises against flyovers as a sustainable solution. Grade separated pedestrian crossings are not advisable, as they are generally not used by pedestrians, who prefer at-grade intersections. 

All new roads, road widening and tunnels are also proposed in an ad- hoc, arbitrary and piecemeal manner, without any studies, modelling or analysis. Most of these proposals are intended to meet the assumed increase in vehicular traffic which contradicts the emphasis on mass transit,” said Ranjeet Gadgil, program director, Parisar.

Parisar also claimed that proposed projects in DP are baseless and without any surveys and studies. The Skywalk proposed from Shivajinagar to Swargate is an example. No study has been done that shows the necessity of this skywalk. It also passes within the prohibited area of Shaniwarwada, which is a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 2010.

Major General (Retd) S C N Jathar, founder of Nagarik Chetana Manch, said, “Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) is the important feature in the ideal BRT which should be included in the upcoming BRT corridors. But, the DP has not mentioned none of the feature of ITS like on-board ticketing, low-floor buses and automatic signalling.

In fact, the draft DP has completely overlooked this crucial factor in planning the BRT in the city, for which over Rs 2,000 crores have been earmarked. The draft DP reflects a distinct proclivity towards ignoring standards, norms and government directives to waste public funds on useless projects such as flyovers.” 

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