New flyovers, widened roads ensured travel smooth affair

  • Sidhartha Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Nov 24, 2011 00:25 IST

If Delhi, today, is known as a 'city of flyovers', we can thank the 1982 Asian Games, because that is when it all began.

Even though Delhi wasn't cluttered with too many vehicles in the 1980s, there were other problems that led to some nasty traffic jams even in those days.

The major culprits were railway level crossings - many of them at important intersections, thus clogging traffic - besides other bottlenecks. The solution was to fly over the jams and the result was five railway over bridges and two grade separators.

The Games Village near Siri Fort and other sporting venues were scattered across the Capital, so it was necessary that athletes and officials were able to travel from one point to another quickly and smoothly.

Taking this into account, seven flyovers were built at Sewa Nagar, Jail Road, Indraprastha, Zakir Hussain Marg, Moolchand, Lodhi Hotel and Ranjit Singh Marg (then School Lane).

Apart from this, 22 roads were widened adding to a total of 290km. Many major intersections were also widened for smooth traffic movement and for the first time sodium vapour lighting was provided at 50 different intersections. High mast lights were also added at four flyovers, including Moolchand and Lodhi Hotel flyover.

The Ring Railway was expected to take some load off the roads and the Sewa Nagar railway station, which is nearest to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, was renovated and a small bridge was built for pedestrians above the railway tracks.

"There was a lot of pressure on civic agencies to complete construction work quickly, without sacrificing quality. Fortunately, we were able to perform," said Dipak Mukhopadhyay, former engineer-in-chief, MCD.


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