Roads are their own worst enemy: Darryl D'Monte

Sep 02, 2013, 08:53 IST | Soma Das

Darryl D'Monte, chairperson of the Forum of Environmental Journalists of India, has been championing the cause of urban planning and has been looking at finding solutions to tackle transport woes. Excerpts from an interview with Soma Das

Recently, you raised the issue of how the city is unable to manage its transport woes. Why do you think adding more roads will add to the traffic woes?
Roads only increase traffic, and are thus their own worst enemy. The idea is to restrict private motorised transport in cities, for environmental and ethical reasons, not to encourage it.

Pic/ Datta Kumbhar

What solution do you envisage for tackling the city’s transport woes?
Higher tolls and parking fees, which would not only discourage car owners but help to make buses travel faster.

The Indian Heritage Society held a meeting recently where three major transport projects were unveiled, one of which focussed on creating underground routes and creating green space in the city. Do you think going underground is the only solution?
Not everywhere, obviously, but at key points; usually, at major intersections and outside

We already have a train system, and we are adding the Metro and Monorail; do you feel that multiple systems would create more problems and we should have focussed on one system and improved the glitches in it?
There is a limit to which trains’ capacity can be increased, so other routes should also be implemented. But having said that, there is need for better coordination. At present, MSRDC (BW Sea Link, fly-overs, etc, NCP party) is competing with MMRDA and BMC (coastal road, Congress).

After the deluge, there was a lot of focus on creating effective waste disposal and drainage systems. But it seems to have been put on the backburner. What do you think is a possible solution?
Effective disposal can tackle the twin problems of high tides coinciding with heavy rain.

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