Now, govt plans e-trams from Red Fort to Fateh­puri Masjid

Hindustan Times (Noida) - - METRO - Ashish Mishra [email protected]

NEWDELHI: The Delhi gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to in­tro­duce “e-trams” on the roads of re­de­vel­oped Chandni Chowk. The “e-trams” — two bat­tery op­er­ated buses joined to­gether and given a vin­tage touch — will run on the stretch be­tween Red Fort and Fateh­puri Mosque.

The pro­posal was an­nounced by Pub­lic Works Depart­ment min­is­ter Satyen­dar Jain dur­ing the foun­da­tion stone lay­ing cer­e­mony for the Chandni Chowk re­de­vel­op­ment project — be­ing ex­e­cuted by the PWD un­der the aegis of Shah­ja­han­abad Re­de­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (SRDC).

“The Delhi gov­ern­ment will run elec­tric trams in Chandni Chowk for the con­ve­nience of vis­i­tors,” Jain said. Point­ing to­wards a se­nior ci­ti­zen sit­ting in the crowd, Jain said, “Sir, you must have sat in the tram here years ago, and now you will en­joy a ride on e-tram.”

Trams were in­tro­duced in Delhi in 1908 and it had a net­work of around 15 kilo­me­tres by 1921. Delhi then had 24 trams that ran in Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazaar among other lo­ca­tions. The tram sys­tem was shut in 1963.

In July 2015, the Delhi gov­ern­ment had mooted a pro­posal to re­store trams in Chandni Chowk and asked the DMRC to pre­pare a de­tailed project re­port. In Septem­ber 2015, the plan was scrapped cit­ing high in­fra­struc­ture cost. Then gov­ern­ment later de­cided to run e-buses.

The AAP MLA from Chandni Chowk, Alka Lamba, said, “The e-trams would be two bat­tery op­er­ated buses joined to­gether which will give a look of a tram. These tram ser­vices will be free of cost,” Lamba said.

The idea of ply­ing elec­tric buses as trams at­tracted mixed re­ac­tions from shop­keep­ers and trans­port ex­perts.

San­tosh Iyer, a re­searcher in en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly trans­porta­tion in Delhi, said, “The idea be­hind get­ting trams was to pedes­tri­anise Chandni Chowk. When the pur­pose is be­ing achieved us­ing cheaper al­ter­na­tives, what is the prob­lem.”

San­jay Bhar­gava, pres­i­dent of Chandni Chowk Sarv Vya­par Man­dal, said, “Trams are the only an­swer to the prob­lems of the Chandni Chowk. The am­bi­ence here needs to be im­proved.”

SANCHIT KHANNA/HT PHOTO

Only non-mo­torised ve­hi­cles such as e-rick­shaws, bi­cy­cles and cy­cle rick­shaws will be al­lowed on the stretch be­tween Red Fort and Fateh­puri Mosque.

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