Archive for December, 2011

A CITY IN A HAZE – Month of horror for homeless!!

Posted by rajat On December - 28 - 2011

Famous for its extreme weather, Delhi weather can be very ruthless. This winter, the cold has claimed many lives and most victims are the homeless. 118 unidentified bodies have been found this month, according to Delhi police figures and 60% of the death is because of the cold.

According to the report, around three persons lost their live everyday because of the cold. A certain area in North Delhi with a huge number of homeless has lost 31 person to the cold while Central Delhi has lost 17 so far. Though government has set up night shelter, hunders of people die of cold.

In simple figures, this means that around three persons have died due to the cold in the city every day so far in December. The maximum number -31 -is from North Delhi district, an area that has the highest number of homeless people. The figure for central Delhi is 17.

Paramjeet Kaur and Ashray Adhikar Abhiyan who works for the homeless in a NGO said that “The government sets up shelters every year, but no one is doing anything about the occupancy,“

A proposal to the urban development department has already been send by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation to build a transit home for labourers and construction workers in Kanjhawala. Kaur said,“No homeless person will ever move to Kanjhawala. Location is very important when it comes to getting the homeless to sleep inside a shelter. This plan will simply not work.”

News Source : Hindustan Times

FILLING THE RED FORT’S BLANKS!!

Posted by rajat On December - 28 - 2011
Imagine the Red Fort in the days of the Mughals? It would have been mesmerizing. During the five years of the 1857 Uprising, British leveled most of its buildings and a wide swathe of the city outside.

If there be paradise on earth, this is it vaunted Diwan-i-Khas in its prime and when King George V arrived for his Durbar 100 years ago the State Procession that followed his entry hurried the king away from the hall, out of Delhi Gate and into the city. George V had time merely to mark the fort’s sparse grandeur and discrete pavilions, and wonder why it had been called the noblest palace in the world for so long. What he probably didn’t know was that most of the ‘Exalted Palace’ travellers raved about for two centuries had been swept away. The sparkling canal that divided the very road he took out of the fort, Houses of the salatin (royal descendants) had made way for the new lawns to his right. Razed palaces, arcades and cloisters had left behind the long, empty brackets of space to his left were all gone.

What George V witnessed was more like a poem with most of its lines missing. With most of its glory missing, it’s very difficult to visualize Red Fort in its prime but thankfully a new book offers a glimpse into the palace of the last Mughal and the surrounding city that Zauq and Ghalib loved and lived in. JP Losty’s Delhi 360º (Roli Books) reveals the Red Fort and Shahjahanabad of the Mughal dynasty’s dying years through artist Mazhar Ali Khan’s panorama, “A Picture of the Imperial City of Shahjahanabad Drawn from the Lahore Gate of the Exalted Fort”. Acquired by the British Library at a country auction in 1981, the painting is signed November 25, 1846 , and is an important historical record.

During the Mutiny of 1857, the British had cleared a large swathe of the city that lay within firing range (450 yards) of the fort walls. Most of the palaces and buildings within the fort were also demolished in the name of security. So, Khan’s panorama captured the fort and the city in their swan song, and in massive detail. Measuring 66.5cm high and 490.8cm wide, the panorama is the equivalent of a 455-megapixel shot when printed at 300 dots-per-inch photo quality. The only way to produce such a photo-real historical record in the 1840s was by faithfully recording every line of street, roof and pillar with brush and paint.

From Khan’s observation deck under one of Lahore Gate’s chhatris (cupolas), Khan swept his gaze first north (towards the ticket counters) and then clockwise, till he had traced a unique 360º view. The roughly 5-metre water colour panorama was painted on five sheets and pasted together as a scroll longer than an average apartment bedroom.

More than its age, the panorama is important for what it shows. The fort is fully built up. It is no longer true to Shahjahan’s aesthetic, but a living, thriving space nonetheless. Outside, the city is more orderly built and leafy than what you see today. Trees ring it from the north all the way to Fatehpuri Masjid on the west. There are trees even on Chandni Chowk’s median. Of traffic there is little, and squalor none, but the last may be the artist’s disinclination to sully his canvas. It nothing less of a wonder. From the painting at first glance, nothing but the fort’s august gates is recognizable. There is so much between them that no living person has seen. The very intricate decorations of Chhatta Bazaar’s walls. They are now lost under layers of white paint. Immediately to the right is a spread of houses for the salatin. Towards the Naqqarkhana has a large, enclosed court with three-arched gateways to the north and the south. In fact, gates, arcades and cloisters regularly frame, link and also curtain the fort’s different quarters. Another surprise is the white Diwani-Aam beyond Naqqarkhana. The hall’s pearly plaster finish was stripped off early in the last century, exposing its red sandstone.

The painting also shows Shahjahanabad in relation to the older relics. Monuments such as Kotla Firoz Shah, Humayun’s Tomb, Purana Qila, and the farthest, Qutab Minar, are duly marked out. Studying Khan’s panorama will leave you a little wistful, for the lost splendours of Red Fort, the city’s easy pace, its leafy environs, the Yamuna’s wide expanse — and the horizon. Once upon a time, earth and sky met all around Delhi.

News Source : Times of India

Traffic to and from Delhi Chokes Noida Roads!!

Posted by rajat On December - 28 - 2011

Mohinder Singh, chairman, Noida authority said, SURVEY Authority points out need for mass transport system, curbing growth of personal vehicles ( Rapid commuting between Delhi and Noida has been possible because of the construction of roads and bridges. ) A railway link for Noida has been proposed, which will connect the city to Tughlaqabad in south Delhi at one end and to Dadri at the other end.

According to a study conducted by the Noida authority, around 80% of the city traffic falls along the Noida-Delhi corridors. During the morning hours higher volumes enter the city, while evening hours traffic leaving the city increases. As per this study shows increase in the number of workers commuting from neighbouring areas to workplaces in Noida.

As per the study incorporated in the latest master plan (2031) says personal vehicles (i.e. cars and two-wheelers) have a significant role (40 to 50%) in the traffic volume. The study shows integrated inter-city public transport system is required to reduce the burden of personal vehicles in Noida, Delhi and other neighboring urban areas.

Mohinder Singh, chairman, Noida authority also said that Emerging travel characteristics of the city suggest transitional changes. Initially conceived as a self-contained township, the city has transformed itself into an extended suburb of Delhi. “Rapid commuting between Delhi and Noida has been possible because of the construction of roads and bridges,“

According to the master plan, there is a need to contain the growth of personal vehicles. There are about 60,000 cars registered at the Noida regional transport office alone and some 850 cars are registered every month here.

Noida has no railway station with Hazrat Nizamuddin as the nearest station which is some 25 kilometers away from Noida. Besides the Metro, which does not also cover most part of the area, road becomes the only linkage with the area. “A railway link for Noida has been proposed, which will connect the city to Tughlaqabad in south Delhi at one end and to Dadri at the other end,“ said Singh.The plan says major corridors are full to capacity. There is an increase in per capita trip rates and trip lengths. “We’re working on a dedicated transport system for Noida. We’re building elevated roads and underpasses across the city.

News Source : Hindustan Times

Delhi’s Houses Set to Get Taller, Can Go Up To 12 Floors!!

Posted by rajat On December - 28 - 2011

Narela and Najafgarh may be the site where Delhi will witness skyscrapers in the near future. For those staying in a gated colony with three storey can build more floors on the plot. The Master Plan of Delhi 2021 seeks to incentivize the redevelopment of existing plotted colonies in order to make more room to accommodate more people. Though only two floors were allowed to houses on smaller plots but, now, one can build up to four floors measuring around 15 metres.

AK Jain, former commissioner (planning), DDA said “Through a combined application, such group of plots can be converted into a group housing society. The owners can then build a residential complex with 12 floors and a height of maximum 36 metres. “One can build a taller residential building by pooling in land with your neighbors. Owners in contiguous plots can form a cluster of land that should not have an area of less than 3,000 sq metres. With a larger plot available, the Floor Area Ratio would be relaxed by an extra 50 per cent.

Anyone who is interested in a group housing scheme can submit their proposal to the engineering wing of the MCD, which will then forward it to the MCD House for approval. Once the House approves it, construction will be allowed. An MCD official said “Most people are not aware of the existence of such a clause in which plots can be joined and 12-storey houses can be built for residential purpose much like residential societies.

“By joining smaller plots and turning the land into one big plot, the residents can build recreational facilities such as children’s play area, but so far, no one has showed any initiative,“ was said by Subhash Arya, Leader of House in MCD. He also said that if the MCD receive such proposal, they would surely consider it and in fact, MCD would encourage more people to come forward with similar proposals. TOMORROW With large availability of housing in Delhi when it goes vertical, will realty prices in Gurgaon and Noida get affected.

News Source : Hindustan Times

Delhi’s Quest For More Space, But How?

Posted by rajat On December - 28 - 2011

With all the high rise buildings, efficient public transportation, wider roads and more parks and gardens, Delhi is on the right track towards a world-class city but Delhi also faces another problem, lack of space. With the rapid population growth, Delhi desperately needs more space.

Delhi has witness massive changes in the past 50 years in terms of growth. The city has witness city builders taking over agricultural land to accommodate the growing population. The space for Delhiite is shrinking every year.

According to the Master Plan of Delhi 2021, the solution lies in going vertical. Though it might solve the problem of space but Delhi will lose the luxury of being a garden city. Both prescribe densification of the city, either by going up or redeveloping the existing residential areas.

According to historian Aman Nath “It’s not the ideal situation, but the fact is that Delhi can’t remain a horizontal city anymore.” “There is the aggression of population and 10,000 vehicles are added daily…Delhi has to go up or underground, which sounds sensible keeping the hot weather in mind,“ he says.

The first Master Plan drafted in 1962 was felt that due to the growing population, Delhi needed to go vertical. Though Delhi is traditionally known for a low-rise city but the city has always fancied high-rise. The first high-rises started from the mid-1960s near Connaught Place, the heart of low-rise Delhi. Areas such as the Barakhamba Road and Kasturba Gandhi Marg were included in th Central Business District where bungalows were taken down to make way for  building with 20 floors.

AK Jain, former commissioner (planning), Delhi Development Authority said that “The Floor Area Ratio for these areas was raised to 400 that allowed these buildings to come up. It was later felt these buildings had no composite design and went against the character of Lutyens’ Delhi.

News Source : Hindustan Times

Japan funds for Metro Phase III to come in Jan!!

Posted by rajat On December - 25 - 2011

New Delhi: Delhi Metro’s Japanese connection will be getting a boost, come January. As work on the third phase of the network gathers steam, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be releasing the first instalment of its loan for the Delhi Metro network next month. Pegged at 53 per cent, the loan from JICA for the Rs 35,242 crore project will form the bulk of funding for Phase III, said sources. It will be used to bankroll the civil work, source rolling stock as well as for acquiring the brand-new signaling system for this phase.

Asenior official said: “The coming through of the first instalment means that the pace of work on the third phase can now be increased. Since JICA loan is 53% of the entire project, it plays an important role in the project planning.” The good news for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is that with the Central and Delhi governments pitching in with another 21.27%, the onus for getting the rest of the project cost, which is with the DMRC, is not very much.

A source said: “Delhi Metro can raise the rest of the amount, which is not much considering a substantial 70% has already been raised by JICA and the government.

The first instalment of the 53 per cent loan is around Rs 6,900 crore, said officials. On ground, the coming through of the loan is the signal for Delhi Metro to ramp up its tendering process. The tenders, which are built on JICA funds, need to be vetted by the Japanese agency before they can be awarded. This process has already gotten off the ground, said sources. “The funding will also be used to source rolling stock for the Phase III as well as for the state-of-the-art signaling system that will be introduced in this phase,” added the official.

JICA has so far paid over Rs 16,000 crore for phases I and II. DMRC has paid back a part of the loan for Phase I amounting to Rs 129.55 crore. The interest for the loan amount for both phases have been repaid to the tune of Rs 696.95 crore.

Staff to go to Tokyo varsity. It is not only Japanese funds driving the Delhi Metro, it’s also Japanese technology. DMRC has started sponsoring its employees for higher studies in Metro technology at the University of Tokyo. Set to be implemented from 2012, the two year programme will introduce Delhi Metro assistant managers and managers to Japanese expertise in Metro and its advancements in the field of civil engineering, electrical and electronics engineering. They will also be sent to Japan to learn high speed technology. Delhi Metro already has a course in IIT Delhi for Metro Technology and a training institute in Shastri Park. TNN

News Source : Times of India

Delhi Metro ready with Najafgarh blueprint!!

Posted by rajat On December - 25 - 2011
DMRC Had Reservations About Project Due To Low Ridership But Political Will Prevailed

New Delhi: The detailed project report of the Dwarka-Najafgarh Metro alignment — touted as Delhi’s first major foray into its semi-urbanized pockets — is ready. The 5.5km line will have four stations: Dwarka, Najafgarh depot, municipal corporation office and Najafgarh station. It will turn left after starting from the existing Dwarka station and cross the Najafgarh drain before following the central verge of Shivaji Road up to the T-junction near the municipal corporation office. It will then turn right near Delhi Gate, go on to the primary rural health training centre and later join Nangloi Road to end at Najafgarh station.

The Delhi government has also approved the detailed project report but it was not part of the phase III plan sent for approval to the Centre. Sources, however, said that with Delhi Metro planning to start work on phase III in stages, the alignment could be added later in the project timeline.

DMRC sources said the line, which is expected to see a ridership of a lakh by 2021 — according to a CRRI report, would provide access to a number of areas that till now had seen little accessibility.

The catchment area includes localities like Najafgarh, Mitraon, Jharoda Kalan, Kair, Dichaon Kalan, Dindarpur extension, Baba Haridas Nagar, Chhawla, Roshanpura, Shyam Vihar, Dharmpura, Sai Baba Enclave, Nangli Sakravati, Arjun Park, Roshan Garden, Shiva Enclave, Todarmal colony, Prem Nagar, New Hira Park, Ajay Park, Nathu Ram Park, Gemini Park, Shiva Enclave, Raghubir Nagar and other colonies.

The project has been a point of disagreement between the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Delhi government. The corridor will cover some of the most far-flung areas in the city, which are mostly part of the outer Delhi area. While DMRC had reservations about its viability — a CRRI study predicted that ridership on the line would be much lower than other lines forming phase III — political will had ensured that the alignment was part of the Metro expansion.

News Source : Times of India

Metro to slip under road in South Delhi!!

Posted by rajat On December - 25 - 2011
Not To Be Elevated Because Of Dense Traffic, Flyovers & Underpasses

New Delhi: The Phase III of Delhi Metro, covering 108km of the city, will be going through some of the most congested localities in Delhi. A nightmare in the making for residents living along the alignment? Not really. Unlike in the past, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) this time has gone in for a judicious mix of underground and elevated corridors — a far cry from its stance in the previous phases where it proffered to go elevated. The two main corridors of the third phase, Janakpuri (west) to Botanical Gardens and Mukundpur to Yamuna Vihar, are aligned along the Outer and Inner Ring Roads, making their way through highly congested localities. Officials say that with DMRC opting to go underground in the most crowded parts of the corridors, the construction is expected to be easier than in the two previous phases.

A senior DMRC official, explaining the decision to have more than 50% of the alignment in the south Delhi corridor below the ground, said: “This line will be going through areas that are highly congested. Heavy traffic and the presence of flyovers and underpasses made us rethink the strategy to have elevated corridors here.”

Officials say that while elevated stretches make more economic sense as they are comparatively less expensive, the stretches also require far more space to work in. The official said: “Piers need to go deeper underground when the elevated stretch goes above the road and a flyover. In such an area, going underground makes more techno-economic sense.”

For residents, the decision is a welcome one. Over the years, Delhi Metro has been under fire for opting to go overground even in the localities that had congested or arterial roads, like the Moolchand stretch. In many localities, the tall piers of the elevated corridor marred the landscape, said residents. DMRC is expecting the alignment for the third phase to get more appreciation. “Better technology is available now, so the decision to go underground is easier,” admitted the official. The preference of the Delhi Metro head, E Sreedharan, for elevated corridors — as these are economically more viable — is well known in the Metro circle.

News Source : Times of India

Metro big leap across river!!

Posted by rajat On December - 25 - 2011
Bridge Spanning Over 600M On Yamuna Is Part Of Phase III

New Delhi: The third phase of the Delhi Metro, which will connect Mukundpur with Yamuna Vihar, will throw up a number of firsts. At 55.69km, it will be the longest alignment on the Metro network and will have around 10 interchange stations — the most so far. Its two stations, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Mayur Vihar Phase I, will be over 4.5km apart — the longest stretch on the network. And to top it all, a new station will be constructed above the existing Mayur Vihar I station to integrate the two lines.

A Delhi Metro Rail Corporation spokesperson said, “The stretch between the two stations will be the longest on the entire network. It will be built on a bridge spanning the Yamuna.”

The Hazrat Nizamuddin station, which will be underground, will provide easy access to the nearby Nizamuddin railway station. However, Delhi Metro officials said full integration with the station will not be carried out and only an access point will be provided, much like the one at New Delhi railway station.

At the other end, the line will integrate with the Mayur Vihar Phase I station. And as part of this integration, a new station will be constructed above the existing one. The corridor will arch over towards Trilokpuri, going over the present Dwarka-Noida alignment.

Officials admit the 4.5km stretch from Hazrat Nizamuddin to Mayur Vihar will be another challenging piece of engineering in the Metro project. The official said, “We plan to use segmental launching technology, which was also used for the bridge after Yamuna Bank station on the Dwarka-Noida corridor.” The bridge will span 602.8m across the river. According to officials, this technology involves pulling up segments using launchers.

DMRC officials say that the pillars, or piers as they are called, will be anchored in the riverbed.

“These will be built using well foundation technology that will enable the groundwater to recharge as well as rainwater harvesting,” added the official.

On the piers, metallic strips with gauge marks will also be put up to indicate the flood level. The stretch will run between the Delhi-Noida toll road and Nizamuddin flyover, over the Zone ‘O’ of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

Incidentally, the zone has strict building norms, with the DDA refusing non-green projects in the area in the past. But Delhi Metro officials said that permission wasn’t expected to be a problem, as transport solutions were allowed under the current norm in the zone.

The Hazrat Nizamuddin and Mayur Vihar Phase I stations are expected to cater to residents of a large number of nearby colonies, including Nizamuddin East, passengers coming from the Nizamuddin railway station and Sarai Kale Khan ISBT, apart from Mayur Vihar, Pratap Nagar, Patparganj, Shashi Garden, Maharaja Agarsen College and Acharya Niketan.

News Source : Times of India

NOIDA-GREATER NOIDA : CONNECTIVITY PLAN

Posted by rajat On December - 25 - 2011
Authorities of Noida-Greater Noida are planning for major road and Metro connectivity projects to link the twin cities to Delhi and other cities of the NCR.

The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has planned for a major road network and Metro connectivity to connect Noida, Delhi and Ghaziabad. The DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) has approved a 28km-long Noida-Greater Noida Metro line, which is expected to be completed by 2014. The daily passenger traffic is expected to be around 65,000.

In addition, a plan to network six major roads has also been finalized. There is also a plan to connect the Noida-Greater Noida Metro line to Noida Extension in Phase III. As per plan, Noida-Boraki track will link to Sector 32 via Sectors 50 and 71; this alignment is yet to be finalized.

Rama Raman, the chief executive officer of GNIDA, says: “We have planned to extend the existing Delhi-Noida Metro link to connect to Delhi and the NCR. For this a detailed project report (DPR) has been approved. We are now approaching financial institutions for viability gap funds and tax exemptions. GNIDA has appointed the DMRC as a consultant to get clearances from the departments concerned.”

According to the plan, 19 stations have been proposed along the 28km-long Noida-Greater Noida Metro link, which will costs around Rs 5,000 crore. Soil testing for the project is expected to begin soon. To connect the twin cities to all the other NCR cities like Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad, the Noida-Greater Noida authority has made a proposal for a chain of connectivity, which was put up before the DMRC. As part of the chain of connectivity plan, the authorities have proposed two new Metro links which cover all the major areas of Delhi and the NCR. Under the new Metro Link 1, existing Metro terminal at Sector 32 (City Centre) will be extended up to Sector 62 and further connect Ghazipur (Delhi). This new Metro link will cover Ghazipur, Kalyanpuri, Mayur Vihar Phase1, Sarai Kale Khan, Moolchand, AIIMS, and Bhikaji Kama Place.

Through the new Metro Link 2, Sector 18 will be extended up to NH-8. It will cover AIIMS, Okhla, Nehru Place, Malviya Nagar, and Vasant Kunj. This will further connect to Gurgaon and Faridabad via Central Secretariat and Badarpur. In addition, this Metro project is to be implemented in Ghaziabad in three phases. The first link to Vaishali is already operational. The 2.52km-long Vaishali track is connected to Anand Vihar, which directly links to Rajiv Chowk via Vikas Marg. This route (Anand Vihar-Vaishali) will go up to Indirapuram, which connects to Noida Sector 32 via Sector 62.

The extension of Vaishali-Indirapuram Metro route comes under Phase 2. For this, DMRC and Ghaziabad Development Authority’s survey work has been completed. The Vaishali-Indirapuram line will further link to Mehrauli via Noida Crossing 62, CISF, Pratap Vihar, Dundahera and Shahapur in Phase 2. The length of this line is 16km. The total travel time to Rajiv Chowk is 35 minutes. In Phase 3, the Metro line will connect the bus stand of Ghaziabad to ISBT (Kashmiri Gate). The length of this line will be 12km. It will cost around Rs 1800 crore.

Authorities of Noida-Greater Noida and Ghaziabad entered a new phase of intense planning and implementation to improve of city-level infrastructure. In Ghaziabad, 17 flyovers including three clovers leafs have been planned to be built in the next five years. A MoU has been signed with the UP State Bridge Corporation Limited (which made the AIIMS and the Dhaula Kuan flyover in Delhi) for five flyovers, including a clover leaf at Meerut Road crossing. This will be followed by a Metro plan, for a whole network and not merely a token presence. The city will benefit from the six-eight lane expressway linking Delhi to Meerut, Hapur, and Bulandshahr. These expressways, as well as the Delhi Metro peripheric (planned on the lines of the Paris peripheric), will touch the new developments in Ghaziabad. The city is slated to have multiple projects like a number of shopping malls, multiplexes, residential and commercial developments.

Like Noida authority and GNIDA, GDA’s proposal of an express highway linking Meerut Crossing to NH-24 will create integrated flyovers at all level crossings. In addition, the Delhi Metro service, the Northern Railway project (Integrated Railway-Bus Transport System) will make commuting easy between Ghaziabad and Delhi.

Under the major roads networking plan, a 130-meter wide and 28km-long road from Parthala to Jewar, a 105-meter wide and 23km long road from Pari Chowk to Hapur, a 60-meter wide and 12km long road from Noor Nagar to LG Chowk and another 60-meter wide and 18km long road from Saini to Kuri Kheda will be constructed by 2013. All these will be linked to Noida-Greater Noida Extension, the existing expressway and the proposed Eastern Peripheral.
Proposed Metro stations in Greater Noida

City Centre (Sector 32), Sector 51, Sector 50, Sector 78, Sector 101, Sector 81, Dadri Road, Sector 83, Sector 137, Sector 143, Sector 147, Sector 144, Sector 153, Sector 149, Knowledge Park2, Knowledge Park 2, Pari Chowk, Alpha 1, Alpha 2 and Boraki (Depot Station)
Daily commuters: 65,000 Major road networking plan
30-meter wide and 28km long: Parthala to Jewar
105-meter wide and 23km long: Pari Chowk to Hapur
60-meter wide and 12km long: Noor Nagar to LG Chowk
60-meter wide and 18km long: Saini to Kuri Kheda


News Source : Times of India