I am not sure how many sectors there are in Noida, but the local administration is reportedly constructing a helipad in Sector 128, and I just came across a real estate ad about some houses in Sector 131. Besides the housing complexes, there are dedicated colonies with steel and chrome offices, some 15-20 malls and of course, Delhi’s only Film City.
Now, you would imagine that a mini city catering to so many people would have at least half a dozen well-constructed entry points from Delhi, right? Wrong!
If you’ve travelled to this part of town any time in the last 15-odd months, you would know that there’s some mysterious construction going on at one end of the DND expressway. The Noida end — one that opens up at a four-way crossing — popularly known by the locals as the Rajnigandha chowk. Over the past year, authorities have been blocking one road after another, leaving commuters guessing which route to take the next day.
This chauraha is also the one that connects commuters coming in from the Ashok Vihar crossing. So, everytime the chauhara gets blocked, incoming traffic from that end is also clogged. Right now, the whole crossing has been reduced to a one-way road. While you can use it to get out, getting in to Noida is one long adventure.
Drivers who have to enter the city via the chowk, have to drive for about two blocks in the opposite direction, get on to a kuchcha road, rattle along for a bit in order to come out 30 yards from where they had started.
This leaves us with entry point number 3: the road between the Great India Place Mall and Sector 18 market. Please note, this road has no pedestrian crossing and is already prone to traffic jams as people attempt to run across every other minute.
All cars coming in from Mayur Vihar, Sarita Vihar and the diverted traffic from the DND flyover head towards this road and get stuck in a forever-after jam. What else can one expect when an already over-capacity road bears the brunt of daily commuters from 100-plus sectors?
Every morning, incoming traffic starts snarling at Sector 18 and jams all the way up to the arches that say ‘Welcome To Noida’. In the evenings, it’s the same scenario, but in the reverse order. If it takes half an hour to get from Connaught Place to Noida, it takes another
45 minutes to get from the edge of Noida to somewhere inside it.
I recently called up the helpline number given on the DND’s website to find out when the construction is expected to finish. The kind gentleman, who answered the phone, said even he wasn’t sure what was going on and that I should check with the Noida authorities. The authorities, well, were unreachable.
I guess we’ll only know what’s up when an underpass or over bridge magically appears one morning. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.