Remember getting stuck for hours at the Ashram Chowk during the Odd-Even phase II in January 2016 when no other place in the Capital faced any traffic snarl? However, the nightmare of drivers and motorists of passing through the choked stretches of Delhi is set to end.
The Delhi government is going to attempt clearing traffic bottlenecks at five major corridors to start with.
The plan includes decongesting stretches such as Aurobindo Chowk to Andheria More, Neela Gumbad to Badarpur Flyover, 11 Murti to Dhaula Kuan, Chirag Delhi Crossing to Savitri Flyover, Dhaula Kuan flyover to Gurgaon flyover Sanjay T-point.
Apart from this, the area surrounding the Nizamuddin dargah is also going to be cleared. On Wednesday, Delhi chief secretary MM Kutty convened a high-level meeting of the six taskforces formed to implement the plan.
The five corridors are a part of the 28 most congested stretches, identified by the traffic police.
The larger plan, however, includes revamping 77 corridors in total which have been categorised as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ types on the basis of volume of road users and visibility of corridors.
The pilot project, report of which has been prepared by the traffic police, will focus on changing road geometry, increasing road space and demarcating pedestrian zones. The 22 kilometre-long corridor from Nizamuddin to Badarpur Flyover where traffic almost comes to a standstill during peak hours will see a major turnaround.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been asked to expedite work on the Ashram Metro station and create maximum road space after its completion. At present, the DMRC occupies all fours sides of the Ashram Chowk and because of the barricades, traffic movement gets slow and piles up during peak hours.
The Public Works Department is going to build a foot-over bridge (FOB) at the Aali Village traffic signal on Mathura Road and will provide an escalator or lift at the existing FOB near Ashram. The PWD, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and Delhi Police will be responsible for removing encroachments, especially illegally parked cars, from various areas.
The move comes after lieutenant governor Anil Baijal held a meeting on March 28 to discuss ‘actions to be taken on traffic management issues in Delhi’. “The chief secretary particularly mentioned that all actions would have to be completed by the concerned authority in a time-bound manner. Monthly or even weekly reports would be taken,” said an official present at the meeting.
A key feature of the pilot project is giving pedestrians their right of way. All the five routes will have new footpaths, foot-over bridges and subways for those who on foot. For example, on the stretch from Aurobindo Marg to Andheria More, the PWD will build a FOB at AIIMS Gate and a subway at Yusuf Sarai market.
Footpaths will be reconstructed at Yusuf Sarai Market, road near CNG station opposite TB hospital & opposite Solitaire Garden will be widened, slip roads on both side of Press Enclave road leading to the PTS T point will be built, and width of the central verge of INA market for widening service road will be reduced.
Welcoming the move, Dr S Velmurugan, head of the traffic engineering and safety division at CRRI, said, “Area specific action plan is the best way to tackle the problem, especially when there is a shortage of funds. So, the traffic police and the government are on the right track. But, pedestrians should not be neglected in the process and road designing should not go wrong.”
Attention is also being given to those who use public transport by creating bus bays or shifting stands to a more convenient place.
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has been asked to shift bus stops at INA Market by about 100 metres and build it in front of the Metro station. Another bus stand at Andheria More T-Point will be shifted to Mehrauli-Gurgaon road towards Lado Sarai.
On the Dhaula Kuan-Gurgaon flyover Sanjay T-point corridor, 11 bus routes have to be changed by the DTC to stop buses from piling up, which is a major cause of jams in the area.