Enormous water-logged potholes, debris everywhere, heavy construction equipment blocking half the carriageway and no lights to top it off.
Since the beginning of this year, thousands of residents in east Delhi's Mayur Vihar and Indirapuram, in addition to an innumerable lot of those staying in neighbouring Noida and Vasundhara Enclave, have borne silent witness to the UP link road gradually transforming into a veritable highway through hell.
"Commuting to Mayur Vihar via road is a nightmare irrespective of whether one is in a car or on a two-wheeler. One has to dodge potholes the size of craters and heavy construction equipment in absolute darkness," said Ajay Channa (45), a businessman and resident of Mayur Vihar Phase I.
"The minute you descend the Akshardham flyover, you wish you had taken the metro." Touted as a futuristic eight-lane, traffic signal-less highway to decongest east Delhi, the UP link road project, which cost the city Rs 334 crore, was kicked-off with a mind to modernise the way Delhi would commute less than half a kilometre away from the Commonwealth Games Village.
"There is absolutely no light on the entire stretch from the Akshardham flyover to the Noida border. Though the stalks of electricity poles have been installed almost throughout, they forgot to affix the lights to them," said Neha Bhasin (25), a banker who stays in Noida Sector 14 A.
With a little over a month to go for the games, commuters feel that the road has become less of a futuristic highway and more of a dangerous obstacle course — especially for bikers.
"The road is uneven and broken at various places such as the Mayur Vihar phase I and phase II intersection. There are a lot of heavy goods carriers and other commercial vehicles such as taxis and pick-up trucks en route Noida that zigzag through the pitch-dark stretch at high speed. Taking this route on a two-wheeler after dark is tantamount to committing suicide," said P. Ravishankar (40), a professional photographer who stays at Mayur Vihar phase II.
The Public Works Department (PWD) is undertaking road widening, streetscaping and lighting work on the stretch in addition to constructing two flyovers.
Rakesh Mishra, PWD's Chief Engineer, said, "We were able to acquire the land only in February. Despite of the delay, we believe we will be able to deliver both flyovers and a well-lit eight-lane highway by the middle of September."