Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand – a northern state of India. It is situated at an altitude of 640 mts (2100 fts) to 1,000 mts (3280 fts) above mean sea level. Situated in the north-western corner of the state, Dehradun is bounded on the north by Uttarkashi district, in the east by Tehri Garhwal and Pauri-Garhwal districts and in the south by Saharanpur and Haridwar districts.
Dehradun has long been a premier educational hub and is known as the school capital of India. With more than 300 schools including the Doon School, St. Thomas School and St. Joseph school, it attracts students from both India and abroad. The city is also a major tourist destination and transit place for international and domestic tourists who travel further to Rishikesh, Haridwar, Mussoorie etc. for spiritual, adventure and wellness purposes.
Being the State Capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun is one of the largest economic growth centres followed by Haridwar and Nainital. It is one of the “Counter Magnets” of the National Capital Region (NCR) being developed as an alternative centre of growth to help ease the migration and population explosion in the Delhi Metropolitan Area. Hence there is a need to focus on transportation as one of the crucial sectors for the smooth and hassle-free functioning of the city.
Public Transport Infrastructure in Dehradun
Dehradun city is surrounded by hills on all sides and main roads of the city emanate from the central focal point – Clock Tower. Rajpur Road, Haridwar Road, Chakrata Road and Saharanpur Road are the main thoroughfare in the city. A bypass road connecting Haridwar Road and Chakrata Road is developed, which functions as an alternative for the goods and other traffic to avoid entering the main city areas.
Motorised Public transport in Dehradun is provided by minibuses of 20 seat capacity by private operators. The routes and licenses for operating the buses is given by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) Department, Government of Uttarakhand. However, there is no public transport in Mussoorie.
Para transit or large auto rickshaws (locally referred to as Vikram) with seating capacity of 7 persons operate on fixed routes within Dehradun. As per the Comprehensive Mobility Plan 2018 prepared Dehradun-Rishi- kesh-Haridwar, 2460 Vikrams and auto rickshaws operate in Dehradun.
Intermediate Public Transport
Regular auto rickshaws also ply in the city carrying passengers from main junctions and roadside to their desired destination. A number of these auto rickshaws are battery operated e-rickshaws that are less polluting but travel at a slightly lower speed. Given the average travel speeds in the city and the delays at junctions – the lower speed and acceleration characteristics may not make any significant difference to the time taken for the trip.
Target 11-2: Affordable and Sustainable Transport Systems
By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
The primary focus area of the research would be to understand the mobility patterns of children and other characteristics that promote a safe and accessible environment in the city. This initiative will focus on creating a robust knowledge base through advocacy and policy interventions and provide technical support to city administrations to identify and implement specific child-friendly environments.
Target 11-6: Reduce the Environmental Impact of Cities
By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.
This initiative will be an attempt in stimulating innovation and partnerships between city agencies, urban policy makers, planners and architects, businesses and civil society organisations to better address and prioritise children’s needs around issues through practical and impactful interventions that are eco sensitive.
Target 11-7: Provide Access to Safe and Inclusive Green and Public Spaces
By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.
This research acknowledges the inextricable links between health of children and the physical environment and will seek to understand the drivers of accessibility of green and public spaces.