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Some Alternative Suggestions


By S Paul

I have recently been on the Dehradun- Delhi Road via Mohand. What a tragic sight to see some very proud and stately ancient trees being brought down mercilessly. Why was such a massacre permitted by the state which survives mainly due to the natural ambience provided by our flora and dependent fauna? Even though the promise of the national highway authority was that the minimal number of trees would be felled, I saw trees with girth about 7 to 8 ft being loaded on the trucks. My heart bled. The new alignment is mostly on the dry river bed and on RCC pillars but, at places, in order to reach the tunnel, hills are being flattened and obstructing trees being felled. Near Asharodi, an entire strip of Saal jungle has been cleared. The whole project is being undertaken in order to reduce the road travel time from the earlier more than 6 hours to just 4 hours. The cost of gaining two hours is worth hundreds of crores of rupees. What sort of planning is this?

In addition to providing a six-lane partly elevated road from Delhi via Manglore bypassing Roorkee via Haridwar, and Bhaniawala bypassing Doiwala is already being provided. We are also being informed that a very wide road is being made from Paonta Saheb to the Doon Valley. We already have a very regular all weather rail track coming right up to Dehradun and Rishikesh. Why so many points of ingress into the valley? Imagine the traffic pouring in from these various ways into a now very congested Dehradun city. We are inviting a huge upheaval of traffic density and pollution due to this extensive crowding. All those coming in do not necessarily come to visit this over-populous temporary capital of the state. They come to go to Mussoorie, Rishikesh and Haridwar, too. Why then this superfluous traffic should be allowed to clutter up our city roads and lanes? Therefore, before these various new highways are completed it would have been very prudent to construct Dehradun bypasses to Mussoorie, Rishikesh and Haridwar clearly away from this city. Perhaps a Ring Road from Dhakrani to Shakumbari Devi, UP, to Biharigarh, UP, to Asharodi, UK, to Dudhli, UK, to Doiwala merging with the upcoming highway, then to Rishikesh to Narendra Nagar to Mussoorie. The plan to make the existing very narrow and passing through Dehradun city bypass road wider is not wise at all.