One of Delhi’s busiest crossings, ITO, would be partially off limits for vehicles from mid-April when construction of Metro’s Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate section begins. The crossing registers a movement of more than 36,000 vehicles every day.
The preliminary construction for Metro expansion, however, started on Friday. Once the work gains momentum, traffic diversions will be in place for at least two years.
The ITO area houses many offices, including several media houses, ISI Building, UGC headquarters, CAG office, the Delhi Police Headquarters and office complexes such as Pearey Lal Bhawan and Herald House, among others.
Delhi Metro officials claim that the ITO station has been especially designed to reduce gridlock at the junction.
“With six entry and exit points, the station will cater to office-goers. ITO station will register a footfall of more than 40,000 people daily in 2016 and is expected to reduce vehicular pressure to a large extent,” a DMRC official said.
The Traffic Police chief agrees. “Once the station is in place, many people will switch to Metro. This will decongest ITO to a large extent,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
In the past few years, the government had planned several projects, including a flyover, an underpass and an elevated road to decongest this busiest crossing. However, these projects could never go beyond the planning stage.
While major diversions will be effective after about 10 days — post the municipal elections — traffic heading towards Mandi House from Tilak Marg would have to take the diverted route from Monday.
“A carriageway of Bhagwan Dass Road will be closed for two months from next Monday. Motorists will have to take Copernicus Marg to go Mandi House from India Gate side,” said Garg.