Smooth drive for vehicles, a daily battle for pedestrians | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Smooth drive for vehicles, a daily battle for pedestrians

delhi Updated: Oct 19, 2010 23:26 IST
Atul Mathur

They have made this road motorist-friendly by turning the stretch signal free but in return have put thousands of lives in danger.

Thousands of pedestrians are forced to cross the busy road number 56, the road that divides Delhi with Uttar Pradesh on its eastern border, while speeding cars and buses have been given a free way.

The problem is severe at the intersection opposite Anand Vihar inter-state bus terminal (ISBT). More than two lakh people cross this road every

day at ISBT, Anand Vihar railway station and the metro station located in one integrated complex.

“Sometimes it takes me 10-15 minutes to cross two carriageways of this road. The flow of traffic is fast and continuous,” said Preeti Gupta, a Delhi University student living in Vaishali.

Road Number 56 was made signal free ahead of the Commonwealth Games. The athletes and officials staying at the Commonwealth Games Village used this stretch to reach Yamuna Sports Complex, which hosted archery and table tennis events.

The Public Works Department (PWD) spent Rs 200 crore to make the 1.5-kilometre long stretch between Patparganj Industrial Area and Ramprastha signal free by constructing a flyover on Road No. 57, widening Ramprastha railway over bridge and
constructing an underpass for vehicles to take U-turn under the Ramprstha railway overbridge.

However, in an attempt to provide free run to motorists, the PWD compromised on the rights and facilities for pedestrians.

“There are nine pedestrian bridges planned along the 5.6-kilometre long stretch between Ghazipur grade separator and Apsara border. But not even one has been constructed,” said SK Maheshwari, an office bearer of Patparganj Industrial Area, which is also located along the Road No. 56.

“The PWD has made Ghazipur crossing, Apsara border and Anand Vihar terminal intersections signal free. Every day, lakhs of pedestrians risk their lives by crossing the Road No. 56 between heavy and fast flow of vehicles. Several have been killed by speeding vehicles,” added Maheshwari.

The condition is equally bad at Apsara Border where the PWD has removed traffic signal by constructing a flyover along the GT Road and a roundabout on the surface.

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.

Delhi PWD minister Rajkumar Chauhan said the agency’s focus was more on completing the flyovers and road projects ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

“The construction of pedestrian bridges will start soon,” said Chauhan.