CHHATARPUR STATION: Project To Regulate Movement Of Transit Vehicles, PedestriansSidhartha.Roy@timesgroup.com
Located next to a major meeting point of roads going towards Gurgaon, Vasant Kunj and other south Delhi areas, the Chhatarpur metro station sees heavy traffic congestion, particularly at peak hours. The congregation of rickshaws, e-rickshaws, autos, buses and Grameen Sewa vehicles used for last mile connectivity by Delhi Metro users only add to the chaos. Private cars use the road beneath the elevated corridor of the Yellow Line to reach the metro parking, contributing to jammed roads, and, to top it all, there are bus stops on either side of the station where public transport coaches stop in a haphazard manner.
The station, however, is all set to get a makeover with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) embarking on a redevelopment project that not only promises smooth traffic flow outside the station but also a green plaza. This plan will also take care of the current problem of parking caused have the absence of designated areas for the use of autorickshaws, Grameen Sewa vehicles and others of the sort.
At present, pedestrian movement at the station too is random and chaotic and that is why DMRC plans a more organised network of pathways. A DMRC spokesperson said traffic circulation is being reoriented as part of its multimodal integration plan. It intends to put in place another entry/ exit towards Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road for easy access to para-transit users like autos and to enable easy approach for pedestrians.
“Parking bays have been created for autorickshaws and for Grameen Sewa and feeder buses. Cycle rickshaws will also be provided parking space,” said the DMRC spokesperson. “The movement of buses will be regulated under the new plan so that the junction towards Vasant Kunj is decongested.”
Apart from reorienting traffic movement, DMRC will develop a green plaza near the station. “A large vacant patch between the compound wall and slip road was available. It was not being fully utilised, so it will now become a green plaza with pedestrian walkways,” the spokesperson added. The plaza will have an amphitheatre, landscaped green areas and sit-out places. A new toilet block will also be created there.
The current chaos is perhaps the result of the rushed work on the Chhatarpur metro station when DMRC was required to hastily meet the construction deadline before the start of the Commonwealth Games in October 2010. The station had to be completed in a compacted period of just eight months. As a result, there could not have been much planning about the multimodal integration of transport providing last mile connectivity.
The short time in which it was erected also gave the Chhatarpur metro station its unique standing as the only one in the entire Delhi Metro network made completely of steel. The land on which the station was to come up was under litigation, and DMRC couldn’t start construction work on schedule. By the time, the rail company acquired the land, there was no time to build a station of concrete and steel like the conventional metro stations. As a result, Chhatarpur got a stop that was built entirely of steel.
In the eight years of its existence, the station area gradually turned into an island of chaos due to the unregulated movement of different modes of transport. With its new plan, DMRC promises to finally bring an end to the commuter’s nightmare.