For those commuting on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, one common daily experience is tackling the traffic labyrinth at Rajiv Chowk. One of the most vital junctions in Gurgaon, Rajiv Chowk is the melting pot of 360-degree convergence of vehicles, often coming from the wrong side of the roads.
“Everything is wrong with Rajiv Chowk. There are major design flaws with the roundabout that does not allow smooth flow of traffic and leads to congestion all the time,” said joint commissioner of police (traffic) Bharti Arora.
According to experts, the problem is atypical as it is the converging point of disparate movement of vehicles from diverse angles. The asymmetry of the roads only adds to the problem, they say.
The point is a significant connection between Old Gurgaon and the new city, and the nerve centres of the city. Rajiv Chowk leads to the railway station, handles traffic to and from the new areas developing along Sohna Road, and takes care of traffic emerging from the villages and the industrial areas lining the expressway.
“Many meetings have been held with agencies concerned and we had told the concessionaire to install traffic lights and make slip roads several times, but to no avail. The slips roads were made last year by Haryana Urban Development Authority, but the concessionaire has done nothing on its part to improve the situation,” claimed Arora, adding, “Traffic signals are also not installed, which is why manual management of traffic is required.”
The expressway concessionaire, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL) claimed that the designing issues did not allow installation of traffic signals at Rajiv Chowk. “Given the complex geometry of the junction, the space available due to multiple converging roads and also various turning moments of traffic from all sides, the feasibility of traffic lights at this junction is not readily foreseen,” said a DGSCL spokesperson.
On the contrary, transport planners take a different view. “Red lights may work at the junction given that all the signals along the associated roads are coordinated and the traffic volume is carefully studied,” said transport planner Chirag Chutani.
The problem at the junction is exacerbated owing to the dilapidated state of service roads along the expressway from the intersection to the Kherki Duala toll. “There is no U-turn between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula which is why people come from the wrong direction on both sides,” said Arora.
‘Concessionaire did nothing to improve situation’
Bharti Arora, Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic), Gurgaon
For long, Rajiv Chowk has been a major bone of contention among the authorities as no one is trying to improve the infrastructure here. Everything is basically wrong with Rajiv Chowk.
There are major design flaws with the roundabout that does not allow smooth flow of traffic and leads to congestion at all times. There is no U-turn between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula, except for one before the roundabout which was recently constructed.
Signals have also not been installed which is why manual management of traffic is required. People come from the wrong direction on both sides as they have no other option. In the absence of any clear provision or signage to move in a particular direction, people have no option but to use the wrong side.
Many meetings have been held in which we have told the concessionaire to install traffic lights and make slip roads but to no avail. Some slip roads were constructed last year by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) but the concessionaire did nothing on its part to improve the situation.
The police have been suggesting the installation of traffic lights and mending of slip roads which can greatly reduce waiting time at Rajiv Chowk. We are also working on suggestions of making the roundabout smaller and constructing another U-turn near Rajiv Chowk for the convenience of commuters.
(As told to Snehil Sinha)