TRIBUNE FLYOVER DISASTER! CHANDIGARH
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DEVELOPMENT -: NOT AT THE COST OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION
Proposal does not RESPECT the Chandigarh Master Plan -2031.
The proposal to construct flyover is a piecemeal infrastructure development antithetical to the idea of the planned city like Chandigarh that has in place a holistic visionary notified Chandigarh Master Plan 2031 for the sustainable development of the city. We have to Sensitively balance demand for growth and preservation of our heritage,
Recognising that Transportation is a very important element that will define whether our city is liveable,sustainable, economically viable and smart, the aspect has been thoroughly examined and researched for international best practices. The recommendations sensitively balance demand for growth and maintaining the open,green and spacious character of the city.
The proposal of the flyover has however ignored the recommendations of the exhaustive CMP and is not a sustainable and long term solution to address traffic congestion.
The proposal shall also adversely impact Chandigarh’s heritage .The CMP also notes that world wide trend is to promote pedestrian friendly cities based on new urbanism, eco city concepts where emphasis is on an efficient , greensand reliable public transport system rather than car dominated cities. In fact, instead of accommodating ever increasing private vehicles, the focus has thus shifted to controlling / discouraging their growth by introducing disc entices such as congestion charges, high parking fees and demarcating pedestrian only zones Chandigarh's Enlisted Heritage, it's urban design and environment besides violating landuse as detailed below.
***The proposal is not in sync with the CMP vision and National Urban Transport Policy . ***
' One day people will come to Chandigarh to see the park wherein one does n ot see the automobile, where one sees nature ( a very impressive nature).
The proposal of the flyover on the contrary is car centric and not in sync with the CMP vision and the National Urban Transport Policy ..
No regional planning has, however, been undertaken for the proposed FRU.
Lack of regional planning, when placed in context with the fact that the substantial amount of the people, who regularly use the stretch of the road come from the States of Punjab and Haryana, shows absolutely ad hoc nature in which the whole project has been carried out, in addition to non-application of mind.
*Metro project discontinued at advanced stage of planning and no proper public transportation system in place. *
The GOI approved report of the Expert Heritage Committee constituted by the Government under the chairmanship of His Excellency the Administration on Preservation, Conservation, Management and Maintenance of Chandigarh's Enlisted Heritage guided the decision for an underground metro for the city.
In the nearly five years since the notification of the CMP 2031, instead of taking forward the implementation of the ongoing integrated project of metro for Chandigarh Panchkula and Mohali ,based on the Rites Comprehensive Mobility Plan for Chandigarh Urban Complex (2008) and incorporated in the CMP -2031, the same was discontinued at an advanced stage of alignment ( Chandigarh was to have an underground metro due to heritage considerations) and has ignored the traffic analysis and projections. Madhya Marg and Udyog Path were already exceeding their carrying capacity in 2009 and Vidya Path, Himalaya Marg,Purv Marg ,Vikas Marg and Dakshin Marg and major road junctions were expected to get choked by personalised modes such as cars and two wheelers by 2021 and beyond in the business as usual scenario. Road capacity was to be augmented by efficient mass public transit transport targeting a modal split of Sixty to Seventy percent share of public transport by moving away from personalised vehicles. This however has not happened and number of personalised vehicles continues to rise.
It is not only the Tribune Chowk that is facing the brunt of increased traffic volumes but almost all major arteries and junctions.
*Adverse Impact of flyover on Chandigarh's
“Over bridges/ flyovers are not recommended to be constructed in entire city of Chandigarh due to heritage considerations, since they impact the visual city scape, and cause inconvenience to the pedestrians.”
I) Flyover shall intercept Heritage Vistas : It is pertinent to bring out that the height of the proposed Tribune Flyover as reported is 11m above ground and running perpendicular to the backdrop of the Shivalik Hills shall intercept the intangible Heritage Vistas and adversely impact the urban design and the MAN -COSMOS relationship.
The flyover intrudes into the Heritage Zone XI -The belt of Mango Grove along Purv Marg. Large number of trees are being cut to accommodate the flyover which not only impact the city's heritage, it's urban design but will have adverse impact on the enviornment / pollution due to depletion of tree cover.
*Tribune Flyover Planning is a Land Use Violation - Since the proposed flyover intrudes into the Green belt running along the Purv Marg, it will be a major violation of landuse.
*Flyovers are an outdated idea and fail to provide long term or holistic solution *
It is now a well researched and established fact across the world, that flyovers are an outdated idea and fail to provide any long term or a holistic solution to the issues of road congestion. The conventional thinking of supply oriented transport planning in cities is falling to to provide any relief from traffic congestion and pollution in spite of the huge expenditure on motor vehicle centric infrastructure development such as flyovers. Cities like Seoul, San Francisco,Toronto built flyovers between 1950 and 1980s, only to pull them down later to make space for people. Transportation is a very important element defining whether cities are liveable,sustainable, economically viable and smart .For Chandigarh to be 'smart' we must learn from these examples and best practices and realise that such infrastructure only begets more traffic and pollution, and shift focus to prioritising walking, cycling and the use of public transport as has been recommended in the CMP
Some of the issues pertaining to the construction of any flyover are highlighted below:
a. Spatial shifting of traffic congestion: The flyover does not reduce the congestion but merely pushes the traffic congestion and the issues related it to the next traffic intersection
b. Induced Traffic: It has been found that the construction of flyover leads to an increase in private vehicle travel as it attracts latent demand for more private vehicles by creating an impression of reduced congestion for a short while, as well as reduces the use of public transport and non-motorized transport.The fact that congestion sets in within a few years of flyover construction should in itself be a pointer about the inefficacy of flyovers in solving congestion.For short term goals the amount of money spent cannot be justified.
c. It is an example of private motor-vehicle centric planning of traffic and contravenes the idea of sustainable and climate-friendly development. It is submitted that the flyover primarily benefits only the private motor-vehicles while the other modes of a transport within a city, which include walking, cycling, rickshaws, and public transport, are neglected in the planning. This idea of private motor-vehicle centric planning of traffic is arbitrary and suffers from non-application of mind for the following reasons:
i. It fails to take into account that excessive reliance upon the private motor vehicles is the biggest cause of the congestion on the roads.
ii. It will introduce latent demand for private motor vehicles, which will only lead to increased demand for motor vehicles and worsen the congestion, along with increased pollution.
The conventional thinking of supply oriented transport planning in cities is falling to to provide any relief from traffic congestion and pollution in spite of the huge expenditure on motor vehicle centric infrastructure development such as flyovers. Cities like Seoul, San Francisco,Toronto built flyovers between 1950 and 1980s, only to pull them down later to make space for people. Transportation is a very important element defining whether cities are liveable,sustainable, economically viable and smart .For Chandigarh to be 'smart' we must learn from these examples and best practices and realise that such infrastructure only begets more traffic and pollution, and shift focus to prioritising walking, cycling and the use of public transport as has been recommended in the CMP.
It is given to understand that the Department of Urban Planning, Chandigarh repeatedly objected to the construction of flyover and provided suggestions which could be explored as alternatives to the flyover. However, the said objections and suggestions were not duly considered or satisfied.
In light of the above it is requested that the proposal of the flyover be dropped and the proposals in the CMP taken up in all earnestness.
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