East-West Corridor, the elevated expressway proposed by the Delhi Government, will allow you to zip from Akshardham temple to New Delhi Railway Station in a matter of minutes. But if you need to get off the elevated road midway, the only option is to abandon your car and climb down the stairs.
That is precisely why the Delhi Traffic police has reservations about this grand Rs 1,000-crore Commonwealth infrastructure project. The elevated expressway will only serve those who want to go from East Delhi to New Delhi Railway Station and no one else, wrote Joint Commissioner (Traffic) Qamar Ahmed in a letter to the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC).
The police had similar reservations about the High Capacity Bus System. They had feared that having a separate corridor for buses would create more congestion as space for cars would get constricted. They pointed out that buses, on an average, constitute just four per cent of the total number of vehicles on road. The traffic situation between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand is there for everyone to see.
Qamar Ahmed said his department agrees with the DUAC that the effects of an elevated road on the areas over which it passes need to be carefully considered.
Jasbir Sawhney, a member of the DUAC, said people travelling on this corridor will never be able to get off the flyway at ITO or DDU Marg. “The only way to get off the flyover will be to climb down the staircases leaving the car on the flyover.
Or else commuters will have to drive all the way to the railway station and come back on the surface road,” he added.
The traffic police agreed with DUAC experts that the real objective of a surface transport project in a traffic-choked city like Delhi should be moving people, not vehicles. So a bus or rail transit system should be considered as there is a limit to the number of roads that can be added to a city.
“No relief is expected from this corridor to the most congested point of New Delhi, that is the ‘W’ point of Tilak Marg, IP Marg, ITO Crossing and Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, after this flyover is constructed,” the traffic police officer said. It appears that ultimately this corridor would serve the station-bound private traffic, he added.
When contacted, the engineer-in-chief of the public works department (PWD), responsible for building the corridor, declined to say anything.