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Decongesting Doon

Dr Nitin Pandey


Dehra Dun is fighting a loosing battle against traffic congestion and pollution. With over 40,000 vehicles registered last year, 3300 vehicles are added every month to its roads. Add to this numerous cycles & handcarts, dug up roads and you will understand why Dehra Dun is an urban mess. Top all of this with cars and trucks transiting through the city, the daily rallies and protest marches, and you will understand why commuters in Doon are a harried lot.

City Bus Service in Dehra Dun
Who would want to switch from a car to a bus like this...
The worst affected areas are within a radius of 3kms from Clock Tower; along Chakrata Road to Prabhat Cinema, Gandhi Road to Saharanpur Chowk & Subhash Road to CMI Crossing.

Absence of good public transport forces people to use personal vehicles. A study estimates that 85% vehicles on road are personal; majority of which would not be there if there was an efficient public alternative. While an average car owner would not sit in a Vikram or the present City Buses, which are uncomfortable and over crowded, he would use an AC low floor bus like the ones used by Delhi Transport Corporation. Doon’s bus service is unreliable as most busses are off road early in the morning and after 8pm, apparently due to fewer commuters! Regular frequency of buses from 6am to 11pm must be ensured. Motivating people to give up personal transport is the key to decongestion.

The biggest bane for traffic in Doon is the Vikram which is highly polluting and has drivers who regularly violate traffic rules. Erratic stoppages, dropping passengers at traffic lights, racing and deviating from their authorized routes contribute to chaos. 6.5ft long and 4ft wide they carry 7 passengers, while the Standard Buses are double the size (12ft * 6.5 ft) but carry 60 passengers. Therefore for the same road space (2 Vikrams to a Bus) buses carry 4 times more passengers. Being three wheeled, Vikrams are prone to turn turtle and passenger injuries are severe because of their fragile construction. If traffic is to be improved all Vikrams must be replaced with buses.

Making roads one way helps in smoothening traffic. The one way around Parade Ground has been very effective. The present practise of blocking half the road with removable barriers appears ad hoc and lacking seriousness and should be replaced by permanent “No Entry” road signs. Subhash Road and Gandhi Road from Prince Chowk to Saharanpur Chowk are always congested and should be one way.

One way around Rangers College Ground, Dehra Dun
Possible one way around Rangers College Ground, Dehradun
The roads around Rangers College Ground can be one way with traffic from Clock tower being diverted to Pant Road, while traffic from Buddha Chowk can go in front of St Thomas towards Clock Tower. This will decongest Darshan Lal Chowk.

Bottle Neck in Doon due to Kumar Sweet Store
The bottle neck at Kumar Sweet Store as seen in Google.
The Scooter Stand is encircled.
The worst bottleneck is around Kumar Sweet Shop. Over the years governments have struggled and failed to find a solution. If these shops can be shifted into a complex made at the present scooter stand, then bottleneck can be relieved. The first and second stories of the complex can be used as scooter stand.

An elevated road from Bindal Bridge to Hatibarkala Bridge along Bindal River will lessen the burden of traffic on the city center and can be built as a toll road under PPP mode. Mussorie bound traffic from Himachal will then bypass the City Center. Traffic from Delhi should be diverted onto By-pass or Gen. Mahadev Singh road. A flyover between Race Course and Bhandari Bag will decongest Gandhi Road. Traffic lights could be replaced by roundabouts or underpasses to smoothen traffic and reduce travel time. Frequent openings in road dividers, as between Dilaram and Jakhan, results in jams due to vehicles making U-Turns and should be closed.
Bindal River as it runs through Dehra Dun
Bindal River, as it traverses through Doon

Workmen repairing roads and water pipes obstruct traffic for hours; therefore road maintenance could be done between 10pm and 8am. Volunteer Traffic Wardens can be deployed with policemen, thus enabling a wider area can be covered. Volunteers can be from general public and schools (senior children once a month by rotation).

To be an effective deterrent the present penalty of Rs 100/- should be increased to Rs 500/-. The practice of handing challans to traffic violators should be replaced by postal notices, as the former invariably leads to arguments. CCTV’s at crossings and one ways can be used to identify and fine violators. Income from fines will pay for the CCTV’s in a short time.

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From: simera pou pethane o xrsdooitulos den mporo na min ton skefto me aperanto sevasmo ton iatriko kai psyxologiko agwna tou. oi diloseis tou den allazoun, oute i antimetopisi mou apenanti s' aytes. ki akomi ki an diafonousa tromera mazi tou, den tha mporousa
simera pou pethane o xrsdooitulos den mporo na min ton skefto me aperanto sevasmo ton iatriko kai psyxologiko agwna tou. oi diloseis tou den allazoun, oute i antimetopisi mou apenanti s' aytes. ki akomi ki an diafonousa tromera mazi tou, den tha mporousa para na exo lypithei pragmatika, gia ton anthropo Xristodoulo. makari, sintoma, eite me ti voitheia tou opoiou theou, i tis epistimis, i akoma kai sindiasmou, na nikithei epitelous oristika o karkinos, afti i apaisia astheneia. an tyxon yparxei theos (kai poly perissotero an akouei tous anthropous) afto tha ithela na zitiso afti ti stigmi.kai makari i ekklisia me ta xrimata, tis ektaseis kai tin periousia tis na voithisei oso ginetai s' ayto.tha to kanei???