Now, govt plans e-trams from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid
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.”
Only non-motorised vehicles such as e-rickshaws, bicycles and cycle rickshaws will be allowed on the stretch between Red Fort and Fatehpuri Mosque.