Missing flights, trains and engagements has become quite common for the residents of Gurgaon because of its complex traffic problems. If the dreaded toll plazas were not enough, now Iffco Chowk has become more difficult to tackle with regulars terming it "a jumble, a mess".
"Some days ago I had planned to go to Chandigarh, but missed my train due to the traffic congestion at the two nodal points: Iffco Chowk and Sirhaul toll plaza. At the Iffco intersection, it took me around 20 minutes to trudge through, while at the toll plaza a dumper driver just ahead of me got into a fight with the toll collectors, holding up traffic," said TN Kaul, an Ardee City resident and the general secretary of the Gurgaon Citizens' Council.
The Iffco Chowk intersection is one of the most important junctions of the city and is a cauldron of a number of activities: residential, commercial and institutional. It is a converging point of traffic from Old Gurgaon and MG Road.
Commuters allege that wrongly placed traffic signals are mostly responsible for the traffic bottlenecks near Iffco Chowk. "The signals are not aligned properly towards the direction of approaching traffic and all signals do not even function properly. The left slip road from Sukhrali towards Delhi is not properly designed and the auto-rickshaw stand near the left slip road reduces the effective carriageway and causes traffic bottlenecks," said transport planner Chirag Chutani.
A part of the traffic muddle at the intersection is also caused by thousands of pedestrians who cross the road at random points. Roads here lack even the basic pedestrian-aiding infrastructure like zebra crossings.
"The option of coordinated signal control needs to be looked into to reduce the delay at junctions. The junction needs to be redesigned with proper channelisation of the approaching arms and road signage," explained Chutani.