A makeover for the national capital is something that is no longer just an idea. With less than four years left for the Commonwealth Games, the state government hopes to give it a completely new look by then.
As part of the ambitious plan for preparing Delhi for 2010 and beyond, the state recently showcased its plan to senior central government officials.
The promise is dazzling - a Delhi with advanced transportation systems including monorails, high capacity bus systems, elevated roadways, flyovers, bridges and interchanges.
Traffic will be smooth, with the possibility of reduced accidents, fewer traffic lights, lower pollution and lesser interchange time between various kinds of transport systems. An additional 24 flyovers, 13 bridges and 12 multi-level car parks are proposed to be set up.
Going by the state government estimates, Rs 8,300 crore (Rs 83 billion) will be needed for various upgrades including transport facility augmentation, sewage management and sports infrastructure. Part of the money - Rs 770 crore (Rs 7.7 billion) - will be a special grant from the Planning Commission to the Delhi government.
As far as connectivity within the city goes, a key project the government proposes to implement is a high capacity bus system. Around eight corridors, requiring an investment of Rs 1,305 crore (Rs 13.05 billion) for 108 km, will be in place in time for the games. This system will ensure smooth traffic movement, besides good stands and pedestrian guardrails.
Monorails also figure in the connectivity plan, with their length stretching to around 65 km by 2010 and connecting Delhi University, Dhaula Kuan, Asiad village, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium and other areas.
In the second phase, 57 km will be covered. The government is also planning to set up a 22 km-long light rapid transit corridor, part of which will stretch from Badarpur to the Qutub Minar.
To ease traffic from the National Highway 24 into Delhi, a tunnel connecting Nizamuddin bridge to Neela Gumbad (Lodhi road) is also planned at a cost Rs 560 crore (Rs 5.6 billion). The tunnel will be made as per the recommendations of the Archeological Survey of India, as it would pass through various historical monuments.
Expansion of Ring Road from six lanes to eight lanes and modernisation of the entire fleet of buses will be undertaken. In addition, an elevated roadway will be developed within 30 months from now, which will reduce the travel time on Ring Road from four hours to one-and-a-half hours.
Railway stations, including New Delhi, Old Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin, will also be upgraded to world-class standards. They will have transit accommodation, hotels, malls, food plazas and shopping facilities, besides being disabled-friendly.
The Old Delhi railway station will also have a new look with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi planning to set up traffic channeliser islands, bus terminal, pedestrian subway and space for informal trade.
A multi-level underground car parking will be constructed at the station. The MCD has also proposed 12 car parking sites in all parts of the city, including Rajouri Garden, Ramlila Ground, South Extension and Mehrauli among others.The expansion of the transport infrastructure will be accompanied by some serious efforts to improve drainage, sewage, slum rehabilitation among others. Projects to beautify the city will also be undertaken.