A cut in the median in front of gate D of Munirka DDA Flats has become a bone of contention between residents of the colony and Munirka village as it gives an easy pass to motorists turning towards Baba Gang Nath Marg. The residents of DDA Flats want the space to be closed while the villagers are against such a move.
Two weeks ago, the Public Works Department (PWD) began to close the ‘gap’ in the divider but a group of villagers interrupted the work. As the group did not budge, the department had to call the police. The PWD claimed they had taken permission from then deputy commissioner of police, traffic (South) in March 2014. While the permission remains valid for three years, the official admitted that the traffic situation has changed in the last two years. They said that as the requirement here has changed, the decision needs to be reviewed. “A visit to the site should be done again to ascertain the need for closing this contentious ‘cut’,” said the official.
The protesters claimed that with the closure of the gap, they will have to take a detour of 4km to reach the main road. In the light of this, the PWD has now written to the DCP, traffic to review the decision to allow the closure, hinting that they also agree with the villagers.
Meanwhile, the residents of Munirka Flats were disappointed as the work was stalled. They said that after several meetings in 2014 with traffic police officials, a survey of the road was conducted to study the traffic movement, following which the former DCP (traffic) granted permission to close the gap. They complained that with the latest developments all their efforts had been undone.
On the other hand, a senior police official said that allowing vehicles to use this gap is dangerous and could lead to accidents. Yudhishter Sharma, vice president of association of apartment owners, DDA Flats, phase-II, said, “Motorists coming from Vasant Vihar, Jawaharlal Nehru University and moving towards Ber Sarai, Outer Ring Road are at a high speed on Baba Gangnath Marg. They use this gap to take a U-turn without much caution. Hence, it is risky.”
Residents also said that the gap allows easy access to the colony’s internal roads and ‘outsiders’ (mostly villagers) use them as a short cut to reach Old Palam Road. Sharma said the villagers use colony roads to reach Baba Gangnath Marg to avoid other stretches which are encroached or congested. “This results in heavy traffic movement in our colony. Local MLA Parmila Tokas, who lives in village, is also against the project,” he said.
Contrary to these claims Tokas said the closure of the gap would cause inconvenience to the villagers. “The village has not been provided adequate space for entry or exit. The service lane around the village has been encroached. Once this space is closed, the villagers will have to take a long route to reach the main road. All stakeholders must be consulted before taking a decision to close the gap.”