Thumbs down to Tribune flyover

Chandigarh: Thumbs down to Tribune flyover

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23

A majority of the residents, professionals and architects opposed the construction of the proposed Tribune flyover at a public hearing held by the Adviser to the Administrator Manoj Kumar Parida at the UT Guest House today. The Adviser conducted the hearing on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had asked the administration to submit a report after consultations with all stakeholders on the issue.

Project against the Master Plan

There is no need for the flyover. The project is also against the Master Plan. The sanctity of the Master Plan should not be violated at any cost as it was approved by the Ministry of Home and submitted in the High Court. We should abide by the Master Plan and not deviate from it as and when desired on an ad-hoc basis.The flyover will totally destroy the one-level concept of the Chandigarh. It will result in the felling of a large number of trees. It is our duty to ensure clean and green Chandigarh for the future generations. Instead of the flyover, we should construct a ring road and strictly enforce traffic rules.

Manmohan Sarin, Senior Advocate

The High Court passed the direction on a petition filed by the Run Club which had opposed felling of the trees for the flyover project. Approximately 70 residents expressed their views on the issue. Around 10 architects presented their alternative plans. A majority of people opposed the proposed flyover. From the senior advocates to the retired government officials, all termed the flyover proposal against the master plan and character of the city.

The hearing started with the presentation of the Chief Engineer who gave a brief introduction of the project. Those opposed to the flyover came with detailed preparations and placed the facts before the adviser while those supported it only claimed that it will reduce traffic congestion.

Reeta Kolhi, an advocate, said the plan was given the nod despite the objections of the Planning Department of the administration. Even the full heritage conservation committee had not approved the project, she claimed. Senior advocate Manmohan Sarin, former Chief Architect Sumit Kaur and many other prominent persons also opposed the proposed flyover.

The proposal of flyover does not respect the Chandigarh Master Plan -2031. The proposal is not a long-term solution to address traffic congestion. The proposal shall also adversely impact Chandigarh's Enlisted Heritage, its urban design and environment besides violating land use. The proposed flyover is also not in sync with the National Urban Transport Policy. Now, the worldwide trend is to promote pedestrian-friendly cities based on new urbanism, eco-city concepts where emphasis remains on an efficient, green and reliable public transport system, rather than car-dominated cities.

Sumit Kaur, former Chief Architect, UT

Col Kuldeep Singh was the first to oppose the flyover. RK Garg, RL Budania and NK Jingan also opposed the flyover. Gautam Katchru, a resident, said the traffic chaos at the roundabout could be solved through smart solutions. Former nominated councillors Pallav Mukharjee and Surinder Bahga also opposed the flyover. Bahga said the proposed flyover would ruin the character of the city. Pallav said there were many steps which could be taken to reduce traffic congestion, which include strengthening the public transport system. Councillor Devinder Singh Babla said the traffic congestion at the roundabout should be reduced. Charanjiv Singh, chairman of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, along with other traders, supported the project, and said it was the only option to reduce traffic congestion.

Improve traffic light system

Siddhant Sapra, a Class XII student in Strawberry Fields High School, Chandigarh, along with Eashan Chaufla and Hamza Javed, young architects, proposes improvement of the traffic light system. Sapra said the present traffic lights had many flaws. He said most efficient combination of traffic light timings can be implemented. Their research shows that just by making seemingly minor changes to the existing design of the roundabout, it is possible to bring about major improvements in its functioning. Most improvements can be effected within a few days. The saving of one minute in crossing the intersection results in a saving of 500 man days (of 8 hours each) for 1 lakh people in one day itself.

Grade-separated intersection

Tarun Mathur, an architect, proposed a grade-separated intersection with ramps to connect them. Mathur said it will be a sunken signal-free interchange alternative. He said the ramping mechanism will allow traffic to flow from one or more without crossings or without disturbing traffic movement. The net result is a completely signal-free junction which altogether avoids the need for traffic lights.

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