Commuters facing a harrowing time while travelling through the choked Ashram intersection may not get any relief soon.
Metro construction in Ashram will end by May this year but the barricading will remain in place for the tunnel project. Civil works for the tunnel project will start next month and continue till March next year.
According to the traffic police, the Ashram tunnel project will magnify the existing problems. “The area is already choked. Any fresh plans will pose a lot of problems for us and the general public,” said DK Gupta, DCP (traffic).
“We will have to chalk out fresh plans for traffic passing through Ashram Chowk,” he added.
The Public Works Department (PWD), which is building the 750-metre tunnel between Nizamuddin rail bridge and CSIR apartments on Mathura Road, said the tunnel in the long run will help decongest the intersection, which is one of the busiest in the city. At least 4.29 lakh vehicles cross the stretch every day.
“We are aware of the fact that construction will cause traffic problems in the area. But once completed, the waiting time at the intersection will reduce. We will complete the work in a year,” said a PWD official.
Experts called the PWD plan a “blessing in disguise” as it would solve the traffic woes in the area in the long run.
“Any further construction in and around the Ashram Chowk will only choke the intersection further. But the tunnel is a blessing in disguise,” said Dr S Verumurugan, a traffic expert.
The PWD said unlike the ongoing Metro construction, which has led to cordoning off of a wide stretch of road, the tunnel construction will only obstruct traffic at two points as much of the work will happen underground.
“Places like Ashram Chowk are perennially choked. So, there is little scope for creating space on the roads for construction of the entry and exit point of the tunnel,” he added.