It could not have been worse for pedestrians using this busy stretch of road near Vivek Vihar, Dilshad Garden and
the neighbouring colonies in east Delhi.
While driving became easier with the opening of a new underpass at Apsara Border and a U-turn under Ramprastha railway overbridge — inaugurated by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday — lack of facilities made it tough for pedestrians and bus commuters. While cars, buses and trucks zipped past, pedestrians — including schoolchildren — waited to cross Road No. 56 amidst heavy traffic.
The 5.6-km-long Road No. 56 — that divides Delhi and Uttar Pradesh — is perhaps one of the most dangerous stretches in Delhi. The public works department (PWD) constructed two grade separators and one flyover to make the major portion signal-free for vehicles. But not even a single pedestrian bridge has been constructed so far.
"This stretch reports several deaths every year. Seven people have died in the past few months at the Surya Nagar traffic intersection. It's really surprising that the government preferred to facilitate cars and two-wheelers while completely ignoring pedestrians," said SK Maheshwari from Ramprastha.
"While the Delhi Masterplan 2021 talks about facilities to make people shift from private vehicles to public transport, such lopsided development only discourages people from using public transport," he added.
According to a RITES survey report of 2008, more than 75,000 to one lakh vehicles ply on Road no. 56 at different locations in a day.
Senior PWD engineers said construction of more pedestrian bridges is going on and will be completed soon.