Highway Research Record

Transport Systems Management Plan for Chandni Chowk Area

Duration:December 2004 to February 2005
Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi (R, I)

Present Status and Progress

The Study has been completed and Report Submitted.

Traffic in Chandni Chowk area is dominated by high proportion of slow moving vehicles which include mainly cycle rickshaws and cycles. The main cause of traffic congestion in Chandni Chowk is cycle rickshaw traffic, which is serving as the main mode of transport in the area. About 50 thousand passenger trips are estmatedly made between Jain Mandir and fountain by cycle rickshaws in a day. Similarly about 65 thousand passenger trips are estimatedly made by cycle rickshaws between Fatehpuri and Fountain. Maximum parking space is being used by cycle rickshaws and cars in Chandni Chowk. Cycle rickshaws waiting for business are spread out in the entire Chandni Chowk causing very serious problems for traffic movement. Inspite of parking restrictions and controls, parking of vehicles takes place in Chandni Chowk causing reduction in effective width of the carriageway and misuse of footpaths. Gandhi Maidan parking is used by the visitors and shop keepers of Chandni Chowk. It is noted that mostly those who are parking are shopkeepers. The side roads of Chandni Chowk excepting H.C. Sen Marg do not carry significant volume of car traffic. This is directly attributable to the heavy congestion experienced in the side streets besides the very limited width of the carriageway. Daily traffic in Chandni Chowk exceeds 50,000 vehicles per day. The proportion of cycle rickshaws exceed 45 percent (from Jain Mandir to Fountain) while it goes up to 75 percent beyond fountain. The Right turning, Crossing and U-turning traffic at Fountain intersection, Town Hall, Nai Sarak and Ballimaran are the major problems that result in traffic jams. Apart from this mix, traffic in the area is very complex and result in total chaos. Parking requirements of Chandni Chowk and its surroundings are too large and they need to be thoroughly studied for planning of the required facilities of parking. To achieve a totally pedestrian friendly environment, parking facilities will have to be provided in the peripheral areas of walled city. The passengers will have to be provided with alternative environment friendly transport system.
In order to provide a cost-effective and efficient traffic management plan, the following actions are proposed keeping in mind the objectives of the study.
It is proposed to introduce a new system of transport in the form of Battery operated/CNG mini buses to operate in the Chandni Chowk area. The buses will operate along Chandni Chowk in two directions in a circular fashion and connect newly proposed parking lot at Meena Bazar. To take care of the passenger movements between Chandni Chowk and Railway Station a CNG / Battery Operated mini bus service will be run in the counter clock direction to cover this area. This could be done in Phase II of the study. To enable this operation, Church Mission Road will be operating as one way street (Station to Khari Baoli). The cycle rickshaw traffic is not to be allowed in Chandni Chowk from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm. They shall be restricted to side roads only. This would minimize the vehicles as well as congestion in Chandni Chowk. Along with the mini buses fast moving vehicles like cars and two wheelers could move (at controlled speed of 30 kmph) but not allowed to park or wait in Chandni Chowk. They could drop and pick up passengers (kiss and ride) en-route without waiting. This is easily possible these days because of the availability of mobile telephones with almost all the vehicle owners / drivers. The above operation will be for effective part of the day (from 10.00 am in the morning to 8.00 pm in the evening). During the other period of the day, carriageway could be used by all vehicles including cycle rickshaws. Multistory parking facilities (underground / elevated) are to be built at Meena Bazar and Parade Ground of Red Fort to accommodate atleast 5000 cars and equal number of two wheelers. These facilities can help in taking out vehicular traffic from Chandni Chowk and enable the friendly environment for pedestrians. Once these parking facilities are built the traffic on Chandni Chowk is expected to reduce because the parkers are encouraged to use these parking lots more conveniently as compared to Gandhi Maidan parking lot.

Once the plan is implemented, the impacts of these on traffic environment in the area should be studied.

Reports/ Publications
Technical report prepared and submitted to GNCT of Delhi.