The Delhi government may claim to have solved the traffic problem in most parts of the city, but it is yet to find a solution to the chaos in its own backyard.
The Indraprastha Estate area, which is popularly known as ITO due to the Income Tax office that is located here, can easily be termed as one of the worst traffic intersections of the Capital.
Though the Delhi government’s public works department has made several plans to build flyovers, underpasses and elevated roads to decongest the area in the past, none of the projects could take off due to the sheer number of vehicles and pedestrian movement in the area.
Apart from being a commercial hub, ITO also serves as the entry to central Delhi and a huge population living across river Yamuna in east Delhi. Long traffic snarls during the peak morning and evening hours is the order of the day.
According to RITES’ origin and destination survey report submitted to the transport department in 2008, the area sees almost four lakh trips every day. The Delhi government had earlier suggested a flyover on the A-point traffic intersection, but the proposal was shot down due to paucity of space on DDU Marg. Later, there was a proposal to build East–West corridor, an elevated road from Akshardham in East Delhi to Punjabi Bagh in West Delhi, which would have passed through ITO. The proposal was also shot down.
The PWD had also okayed a combined plan prepared by private consultants to construct a grade-separator at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, pedestrian plaza and separate lanes for private cars and buses at W-point and building additional loops and reworking of traffic movement on the existing loops at ITO before the Commonwealth games.
Sources said the PWD had decided to take up the project after the games. The proposal, however, seems to have been put on the backburner.
When contacted, Nutan Guha Biswas, PWD principal secretary, said, “PWD has asked CRRI to conduct a study and prepare a proposal to ease traffic flow at ITO.” UTTIPEC director Ashok Bhattacharya said the agency was working on a “larger and comprehensive plan” to improve traffic management at ITO. “Delhi Metro is also coming up there and the BRT too exists. We have to work out a plan integrating everything. We are working on it,” Bhattacharya said.