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Delhi's First Pedestrian-friendly Scramble Crossing at Red Fort Likely to Open by July

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

This is Delhi's first scramble or 'X' crossing and it makes it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, they said.

Delhi's Red Fort-Chandni Chowk intersection, which has been under redevelopment, is likely to open from July 15 and it will have a scramble crossing at which traffic lights completely stop vehicles to allow pedestrians to cross in any direction, including diagonally, officials said. This is Delhi's first scramble or 'X' crossing and it makes it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, they said.

Besides this, the redeveloped intersection will also have raised crossovers for cyclists, traffic refuge islands and table top crossings for pedestrians. Tabletop crossings as pavements work as speed breakers for vehicles while pedestrians can cross the road using them while refuge island is a small pavement where pedestrians can stop before crossing the road.

"Nearly 95 per cent of construction work has been done. Cobbled stones are being fixed at present. Once finishing touches are given, we are planning to open the intersection for pedestrians, cyclists and traffic from July 15," a senior Public Works Department (PWD) official, who is engaged in the revamp work, said. This will be Delhi's first scramble crossing that has been developed on the lines of London's Oxford Circus diagnol crossing, the official added.

The scramble crossings are widely used in countries like Japan, Canada, the US, Australia and the UK. The approximate cost of the redevelopment is Rs 3.5 crore, the PWD officials said.

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"The purpose is to ease pedestrian movement at the intersection and also to ensure that the theme of the area in front of the Red Fort is in tune with that of a redeveloped Chandni Chowk," the official said. The officials said that after the redevelopment of the Chandni Chowk and because of its proximity to the Red Fort, the junction will have more people amid heavy traffic. Therefore, a scramble crossing was necessary, they said.

"At present, nearly 4,000 people (pedestrians and motorists) pass through the Red Fort junction per hour. This will only increase after redevelopment of the Chandni Chowk," another PWD official said. "This scramble crossing will enhance the load-bearing capacity of the junction and accommodate more pedestrians, which is highly anticipated after the redevelopment, the official said.

Besides pedestrian safety measures, the traffic junction will also have a dedicated space for a police booth, and decorative lights and flowering plants. The revamp of the intersection had started in March-end and was to be completed in 40 days but it got delayed.

"The delay was due to shortage of workforce as many labourers engaged in the construction work had gone to their hometowns during the second wave of COVID-19 in April," a PWD official said. Other than making the intersection safer for pedestrians, the PWD has also worked to make more beautiful.

"Our theme is amalgamation of Mughal-era architecture with modern design and facilities. So, we are using red granite stones and red concrete from Rajasthan in the revamp work so that it matches with the heritage theme of a redeveloped Chandni Chowk and the Red Fort, the official said. Even on the main road, the PWD will not use black tar to carpet the street. Red granite stones are laid in around in a 1,000 square-metre area of the intersection, the official said.

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first published:July 03, 2021, 17:14 IST