Seamless solution

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A plan with the twin objective of unclogging Delhi and making travel within and from the Capital less stressful is on the anvil

With plans in place to create a rapid interchange transit system, the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) seems to be headed in the right direction to unclog the metro as well provide easy access to those travelling out of the city by road, rail and air. If all goes according to plan, the effective use of a combination of systems — skywalks, escalators, underpasses — will provide the push for a multi-model rapid transport system which will combine and connect all modes of travel like the metro, buses and trains in a seamless manner. Inter-change stations at the most populous areas of the Capital viz, Sarai Kale Khan, Anand Vihar and New Ashok Nagar, are set to provide much better last mile-connectivity.

Given the pace of urbanisation, which saw Delhi move to the number two position in terms of highest population in the world recently, the need for a seamless public transport system has always been felt. And successive Governments have failed to pass the test of institutional challenges in dealing with new urban infrastructural problems, especially relating to transport. With an estimated population of 18.6 million people, the Capital is set to become the world’s most populous city by 2028 so the plan doesn't come a day too late. India’s quest for a clean, safe and efficient transport system for its Capital and surrounding areas has been marked by ad-hocism. The result: Never-ending traffic jams and an ever-increasing population. But Delhi’s problem is twin-fold. Besides lacking an efficient public transport system, it is also one of the most polluted cities in the world. While cities like Kolkata and Mumbai were the first ones to get a transport upgrade, Delhi lagged behind. Until 2002, the only public transport system was the notorious DTC bus network. Autos and taxis were unreliable, subject to very lax supervision and worked out more expensive than owning a private vehicle, which could be purchased on EMIs. All these factors led to a manifold increase in the number of private cars and two-wheelers plying in the city. The carrying capacity of Delhi's roads proved to be woefully inadequate to take this increased load and the impact on the quality of Delhi’s air of vehicular pollution needs no reiteration. The introduction of metro services were a part-palliative but the metro cannot be a one-off solution.

 The new transit system promises to provide an integrated transport system that is cheap, fast, safe and efficient. Godspeed.

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