Snarls have become a regular feature near exit number 18 on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway every evening as commercial vehicles load passengers by halting on one of the four lanes of the highway. The road width is compromised and the traffic from Iffco Chowk towards Delhi is many a time squeezed to two lanes.
Traffic personnel who were earlier deployed at the spot are no longer seen.
Vehicles going towards Cyber City, Udyog Vihar and DLF Phases have to take this exit but they are often unable to access the left lane as it is blocked by stationary commercial vehicles.
This forces drivers to take the other three lanes in an effort to make the exit. However, this blocks vehicles behind, leading to snarls extending till Iffco Chowk.
Commuters say the absence of traffic personnel near the exit is the primary cause for congestion.
“Snarls are common at the stretch because of commuters violating traffic rules and lane discipline. If there are no traffic police officials to challan vehicles for halting at ‘no stopping zones’ or checking wrong lane driving, the crisis will not end,” Sanjay Pendse, a commuter, said.
The traffic on the NH-8 also includes two-wheelers and three-wheelers that are not allowed on the highway.
“The number of vehicles is much higher than the total capacity of the expressway. The unchecked entry of two-wheelers and three-wheelers is compounding the problem,” Razia Iqbal of New Delhi said. Razia works at a laboratory in Sector 34.
A survey by Indian Institute of Planning and Management earlier this year supports this argument. As against the expected capacity of 8,000 vehicles, more than 21,000 cars use the carriageway every day.
Joint commissioner of police, Gurgaon, Y Puran Kumar said, “There is an inherent engineering flaw near the exit as roads get narrower. The presence or absence of traffic police officials will not improve the crisis.”
Puran said in discussions with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials, a 2.5-km long metallic fencing is being erected on both sides of the road near the exit. The fence is aimed at eliminating the chance of pedestrians crossing the road and commercial vehicles halting to load passengers.
An official of the NHAI said the metallic fencing is being built at a cost of ₹22 crore and biddings for the project will be open soon.