Committee on Delhi Traffic Decongestion

IAS Prelims 2023

A High Powered Committee on ‘Decongestion of Traffic in Delhi’ has called for a paradigm shift in transport planning and policy interventions to check explosive growth in automobile population in the national capital and move people more efficiently than cars through effective public transport system.

The inter-ministerial Committee, headed by Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development) with representatives from 19 different ministries and agencies of Central and Delhi Governments, Delhi Police and all the Urban Local Bodies held several rounds of deliberations and submitted an unanimous report on ways and means for decongesting Delhi’s traffic.

Noting that 21% of city’s area is already under roads with limited scope for road network expansion, 60% of passenger trips are below 4 km distances and 80% below 6 km lengths which are ideal for non-motorised transport, the Committee strongly recommended development of necessary infrastructure for promoting walking and cycling in the national capital.

The Committee also expressed serious concern over mushrooming of gated communities in the city which are compelling local traffic to come onto main roads by preventing short cuts for movement of people.

Expressing concern over 18 different Central and Delhi Government departments and agencies handling different aspects of transportation in the city region, the Committee recommended a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority for better coordination, quick decision making and execution.

To ensure a safe, sustainable, affordable, equitable, comfortable, accessible and environmental friendly public transport system in the city, the Committee recommended a four pronged strategy with the components of :

1. Improving Public Transport and Disincentivising use of private vehicles;

2. Promoting Road Safety and efficient Traffic Management;

3. Setting up Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority and enhancing institutional capacity; and

4. Promotion of Transit Oriented Development through integrated land use and transportation planning.

The recommendations of the Committee under these 4 components of the Strategy include:

Fully paid rented or owned parking with parking fee based on area of the city, duration and size of the vehicles;

Paking on footpaths to be made cognizable offence under Delhi Municipal Corporation Act;

Penal charges for parking violations to be 10 times the normal rates;

Parking Management Districts to be planned for all public places and one agency/operator to handle both on street and off-street parking for better management;

No stand alone parking slots to be developed;

Shared parking to be promoted for effective use of parking sites during different periods of the day;

Promotion of feeders services and bringing informal feeder services under legal framework;

Mandatory provision of footpaths on all roads as per codes with right of first use of street space to pedestrians;

Provision of more crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, at least at every 250 metres;

Signal free corridors to be avoided as they invite more private vehicles on to roads;

More secondary street networks to be created by avoiding creation of gated communities for providing shortcuts to pedestrians;

Access to bus service should be within walking distance from home or office;

Bus fares should be priced less than per/Km cost of running a two wheeler;

Multi-level bus parking to be provided at all depots; Multi-modal, multi-use bus depots on PPP basis to be taken up for high class services and terminal experience for passengers;

For Delhi, 2,000 buses should be procured immediately and 4,000 in the next phase;

Intelligent Transport System be adopted for surveillance, automatic vehicle location, public information, Red Light Camera and Stop Line Violation Detection, Automatic Number Plate Recognition, Automatic Parking Management and Intelligent Signaling for synchronized movement of vehicles across different signal etc.

Operational Control Centre to be set up for real time monitoring and management of traffic on all roads and sharing actionable information to different service providers including Delhi Police for automatic issue of challans for violations;

Effective traffic management through better traffic dispersal by enabling more junctions, junction improvement, provision of roundabouts, removal of choke points, segregation of long haul and short haul traffic, promotion of secondary road networks;

Commissioning a Freight Audit of the city based on analysis of consumption behaviors of citizens and availability of key supplies and movement of goods for evolving a Freight Plan for the city;

Preparation of comprehensive and integrated Land Use Transport System on priority basis;

Improving regional connectivity through integrated Regional Rapid Transport Systems; ensuring full utilization of Sub-urban ring rail system including for freight movement and decongestion at major railways stations

Enabling quick start of Transit Oriented Development Projects (TOD) for reducing mobility needs and enabling access to public transport for long distance travel;

Development of BRTS corridors on high density routes; and

Creation of Urban Transport Fund for Delhi for tapping various revenue streams like parking charges, fuel taxes, advertisement incomes etc., for augmenting bus services.