With the Punjab and Haryana High Court order, virtually putting brakes on Tribune Flyover project, the Chandigarh Administration has now decided to submit “best alternative options” to the Court in place of the ambitious project.
In its report to be submitted to the High Court next month, the Administration will apprize the Court about “best alternatives options” suggested during public hearing and by UT Urban Planning Department.
During the public hearing held in December last year, city based architects had come up with several proposals including improving the design of Tribune Chowk roundabout, diverting the traffic which has no business with Chandigarh via bypass or ring road, combination of underpass and overpass, dedicated bus or auto drop offs and lane driving, the use of timers at light points, recalibration/optimisation of timing/dynamic timing (to prevent clogging of vehicles at the roundabout and prevent empty green lights) among others.Instead of the contentious flyover project, the UT Urban Planning Department had earlier suggested that alternative routes or bypasses from Industrial Area, Phase –II for right turning cars and buses towards ISBT, Sector 43 may be explored. Apart from this, provision of lane markings, directional arrows, intersection controlled markings and bus boxes were recommended.
Only a day before at the meeting of Apex Committee for coordination of tricity held under Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator VP Singh Badnore here, the Haryana Government had also asked the Administration to explore alternatives to alleviate congestion at Tribune Chowk instead of going for a flyover project.
At the meeting, when the UT Administration pushed for approval from neighboring State Governments on Tribune flyover project, the Punjab Government clearly stated that the Tribune flyover does not fall under its jurisdiction and they will not comment on it while Haryana Government had asked Administration to explore alternatives such as installing Traffic Lights at the junction instead of constructing a flyover.
“In its report to be submitted to the High Court, the UT Administration will give details about the alternative options that could be executed in place of Tribune flyover project to reduce traffic congestion at the junction,” said a senior officer of UT Administration.
He said that the Administration is preparing the report after exploring all the alternatives suggested during the public hearing and other meetings.The foundation stone of flyover project was laid by Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator VP Singh Badnore last year.Notably, the Administration had faced severe criticism from the denizens during the public hearing held for the proposed Tribune Flyover project in December last year.Large number of people had turned up at the public hearing with alternative suggestions and even, presentations to oppose the flyover project, which is stated to impact the city scape and heritage considerations besides resulting in cutting of more than 400 trees.
The High Court (HC)?had in November last year stayed the transplanting and axing of 473 trees for the Tribune flyover project, on an NGO’s plea. The Court, while observing that the project is being implemented in violation of Chandigarh Master Plan 2031, had put the stay on cutting of trees for the project, virtually putting brakes on the project. The UT Administration had then submitted in the Court, to hold a public hearing on the project. The Court was told that after examining the project and holding public hearing, the Administration will submit a report in this regard.
According to the Chandigarh Master Plan 2031, over bridges or 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.
To alleviate the traffic congestion at the Tribune Chowk, the master plan had infact recommended construction of underpass, as proposed in the RITES (Rail India Technical And Economic Services) report.
However, the construction of the flyover and underpass at Tribune Chowk was later proposed for making traffic steady and smooth at the most busy junction of the city- Tribune Chowk, where there is the highest concentration of vehicular traffic.