Why NCR stands for national chaos region | Delhi News

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NEW DELHI: The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore an issue that has plagued the very idea of NCR since the beginning — seamless, integrated and affordable transport. This issue is, perhaps, the primary reason why chaos has been witnessed during the lockdown often at the borders, which get sealed by the governments of the three states periodically.

Urban planners and transport experts have been emphasising on a unified transport system and authority for nearly four decades, but the plans have remained on paper despite the formation of NCR Planning Board (NCRPB) in 1985.
The only public transport system that gave NCR a semblance of being an organic entity was Delhi Metro. With the metro now shut, the fault lines have reappeared and, in fact, deepened. Buses of neighbouring states are diesel-run and can’t enter the capital, which switched to CNG following court directions in 1998.
Despite autorickshaws having NCR permits, most drivers prefer to operate within their respective state borders. Those willing to travel beyond state borders demand exorbitant fares. In the past few years, app-based cabs have become a popular mode of transport, but toll tax has added to the travel bill. At present, cabs are not crossing borders either.
NCRPB’s Regional Transport Plan 2021 recommends the creation of a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority for the NCR. The plan also talks about providing interconnection between Delhi and satellite towns to reduce pressure on the capital’s transport infrastructure, which includes unrestricted movement of buses, taxis and autorickshaws within NCR. The plan, however, remains on paper.
PK Sarkar, former head of transport planning at School of Planning Architecture and member of the technical steering committee of NCRPB, said, “While the concept of NCR is more than three decades old, Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority never materialised. There were plans to have multi-modal integrated transport way back in 2007.”
AK Jain, former commissioner (planning) of Delhi Development Authority, said, “The problem is that district administrations and state governments don’t understand the concept of NCR. As a result, people who moved out of Delhi are regretting their decision now.”
“The contiguous urbanised area around Delhi, such as Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida, should have an integrated transport plan. Many industries, government offices and PSUs moved out of Delhi as part of the decongestion plan, but transport remains a problem,” Jain said.
Ashok Bhattacharjee, urban planner and former director of UTTIPEC said that Delhi Metro and Regional Rapid Transit System connecting Delhi with Meerut, Panipat and Alwar would allow faster movement, but intercity and short trips need integrated planning too.



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