For regular commuters at the Ashram intersection in south Delhi, traffic snarls and endless waiting has become a daily routine.
As it an arterial road that connects central, south, and east Delhi, commuters here don’t have any other alternative route to take despite knowing that during peak hours, traffic crawls at a snail’s pace.
Metro construction, constant road repair, lack of enough personnel to man traffic and illegal parking on the roadside have made the situation worse for commuters who are stuck in jams every day.
Apart from the main intersection, the U-turn below the flyover, which is mostly barricaded because of the construction work, and the foot of the flyover is also packed.
“I cross the intersection every day to commute from my place to work and every day without fail I get stuck here for hours. In fact, now, I get out of the house keeping the jam in mind,” said Ramakrishna Iyer, a commuter. He said it was difficult to find a traffic official manning the stretch.
However, traffic cops refuted the allegation. “We have a team of traffic officials deployed at the junction and according to the severity of the traffic situation, more officials are added... But the construction activities on the stretch surely make things difficult,” said a senior traffic official.
Residents around the area and regular commuters say traffic police are only making excuses to hide their inefficiency. “The stretch is better than many others in Delhi when it comes to its road design and width. The problem here is lack of enforcement. One traffic official at the intersection at peak hour can assess which carriageway is experiencing more traffic and clear the stretch accordingly,” said Pragati Kapoor, a resident of Maharani Bagh.
Meanwhile, the authorities are busy passing the buck.
Traffic officials said that despite ample deployment, the stretch remains a bottleneck because of the construction activities of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
“We are expecting that once the Metro workers wrap up their work there will be more space for traffic. Another problem here is that since markets are close by, people park their vehicles on the sides of the main road. Not just visitors but residents, who have more than one cars, park their vehicles on the road,” the traffic official said.
Metro officials, however, claimed that before the construction work commenced, enough road width was maintained keeping in mind the movement of traffic. According to Delhi Traffic Police, approximately two lakh vehicles cross the intersection everyday during peak hours.