Gurgaon cops bank on new plan to ease mess | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Gurgaon cops bank on new plan to ease mess

It is not just the private Delhi-Gurgaon expressway operator but also the government stakeholders who are to be blamed for the perennial traffic chaos at the toll plaza.

delhi Updated: Oct 01, 2012 01:56 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

It is not just the private Delhi-Gurgaon expressway operator but also the government stakeholders who are to be blamed for the perennial traffic chaos at the toll plaza.

Ignoring the suggestions by independent consultant RITES, at the time of construction, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Haryana government went ahead with the flawed project design.

While NHAI turned down the request to move the toll plaza 500 metres away from the integrated township of Ambience Island (that comprises Ambience Mall, 5-star hotel Leela Kempinski and Lagoon Apartments), the Haryana government refused to part with prime land to make the existing 32-lane Delhi-border toll plaza of 48 lanes in 2006 when the expressway was being constructed.

However, even RITES failed to estimate the volume of traffic expected on the expressway which was thrown open to commuters in January 2008.

The daily average traffic volume in the first year turned out to be 80,000 while the project report by RITES in 1998 had projected that level in 2013.

Within a month of opening, the daily traffic volume had touched 1.30 lakh.

As per the RITES report, the traffic volume was projected to grow at the rate of 4-5% while it actually went up by 9% per year. In 2010-11, the average daily traffic volume crossing the Delhi-Gurgaon border toll plaza was around 2 lakh vehicles.

Haryana also refused to provide land along the highway for constructing 15-metre wide service lanes instead of the present seven metre for accommodating local traffic. This is one of the major reasons for huge traffic snarls on crossings.

According to a senior official of RITES, who was deputed as an independent engineer with the NHAI earlier, a presentation was made to Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on August 2, 2006 by RITES when it had requested the Haryana government to give land to NHAI for constructing a bigger 48-lane toll plaza.

"But the Haryana government refused to part with land saying it had planned a theme park on one side of the plaza and industries on the other side.

Unofficially, the officials concerned told us that since the land near the toll plaza was prime location and valued around Rs. 100 crore per acre, it was impossible for them to give away the land to NHAI at a much lesser cost.

"Had the Haryana government conceded to our request, the Delhi border toll plaza would have had 48 lanes and there would be no traffic jams," the RITES official added.

In the year 2001, the NHAI had not paid heed to a suggestion of setting up the toll plaza 500 metres away from the Ambience Island, alleged the developer of the township.

Raj Singh Gehlot, CMD, Ambience Developers and Infrastructure, said, "I had requested NHAI officials to change the location of the toll plaza as it would cause traffic jams once the hotel, mall and residential township was fully operational but to no avail. I had even offered to bear the cost of the subways at that time but got no response."