Cars zoom past the state-of-the-art tunnel even as a few metres above them, aircraft descend to land at the Delhi airport. Welcome to the northern access road, which can take you from the domestic airport to Terminal 3 (T3) in minutes — provided you could locate it first.
The recently built Rs 110 crore access road was meant to cut down congestion at the clogged intersection at near Radisson Hotel. Most passengers, however, still prefer the NH-8 intersection to reach T3. They can’t be blamed, as there is lack of signages to guide passengers to the new road.
The confusion begins right from the expressway where the huge signages point motorists straight towards Gurgaon, even if they want to reach T3, and asks them to turn left to reach domestic terminals. There is no direction towards the northern access road.
For those who have heard about the ‘new road’ and insist on taking the flyover loop towards the domestic airport, here is what guides them towards T3 — a white cardboard with Terminal 3 written on it, supported by a stick resting on an upturned oil drum in the middle of the road.
“I had to pick my sister from T3 and to avoid jams on NH-8, I decided to try the access road,” said Brajesh Singh, who works for an NGO. “As I got down the expressway flyover, I saw an underpass and took it.” Singh had taken the Dwarka underpass and ended up taking a huge detour to get back near NH-8.
There are signages saying that the underpass is meant for motorists headed towards Dwarka but these too were very small and can't be seen properly at night.
With many stakeholders involved in building the access road, authorities are passing the buck even when the road was opened nearly a month ago for traffic. Private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) said the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) are installing permanent traffic signages, involving overhead gantries across the NSG Junction and NH-8.
“In the interim, DIAL has proactively put temporary signages at appropriate locations, in coordination with traffic police, to guide vehicular traffic to T3,” a DIAL spokesman said. “A substantial volume of traffic has now shifted from NH-8 to northern access road,” he claimed. DDA, however, said that it is only responsible for putting up signage at the Dwarka underpass and not the northern access road.