Bikers ride boats to cross Yamuna as Kalindi bridge closure triggers snarls
Several motorcycle-borne commuters from Delhi to Noida have found an innovative yet dangerous way of beating the massive traffic jams in the wake of the closure of one carriageway of the Kalindi Kunj bridge, Shashank Shekhar reports.delhi Updated: Jan 16, 2013 23:10 IST
Several motorcycle-borne commuters from Delhi to Noida have found an innovative yet dangerous way of beating the massive traffic jams in the wake of the closure of one carriageway of the Kalindi Kunj bridge.
Nearly 300 motorcycles are being carried across the Yamuna on wooden boats daily after the bridge was closed for repair on December 23. The closure of one carriageway (Delhi to Noida) has triggered massive traffic snarls at Jamia Nagar, Sarita Vihar, New Friends colony, Ashram and the DND flyway.
The boatmen charge R50 per motorcycle and earn good money. A maximum of three bikes are carried in one go. The motorcyclists coming from the Jamia side take a cut near the MCD toll booth to reach the river bank. Here, they put their bikes on the boats and cross the Yamuna to reach Noida.
"I stay in Badarpur and my office is in Surajpur in Greater Noida. I have to spend at least 90 minutes more on the road to reach office due to repair work on the Kalindi Kunj bridge. The boatmen charge R50 and take us from Delhi to Noida. I don't mind paying extra instead of getting stuck in a jam," said Shivam Joshi, a daily commuter.
A Delhi Police officer posted near the bridge told HT that a boat carrying three bikes capsized 10 days ago. While none of the passengers were hurt, two bikes wouldn't be retrieved. The police intervened and stopped the boatmen from ferrying bikes but a few days later, they returned as many of them live near the banks.
The officer said at least three boats ferry bikes across the river.
According to the repair plan, the Delhi-Noida stretch of the bridge will remain closed till January 22 while the opposite carriageway (from Noida to Delhi) will be shut from January 23 to February 24.