Wrongly-designed road junctions, waterlogged and potholed service lanes, dysfunctional traffic signals, lack of footpaths and no streetlights has made commuting a nightmare for those using the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.
There is a broad consensus that the expressway needs retro-fitting to ensure people can use this road safely. At the Kherki Daula toll plaza and on way towards Manesar, there are several spots where trucks and dumpers remain parked. This leads to congestion on the stretch every day.
When trucks and dumpers cross the toll plaza, majority use service lanes to enter the nearby industrial area and go towards Darbaripur, which is a perpetual major bottleneck.
“This service road is very narrow and two trucks moving in opposite directions can’t pass simultaneously. The lack of footpaths make it difficult for pedestrians to use the stretch,” said ASI Narender Kumar posted at Kherki Daula toll plaza. The project was built keeping in mind motorized traffic with little thought given to pedestrians, he added.
Dr Sewa Ram, associate professor, School of Planning and Architecture said, “Service roads need to be designed as per pedestrian and non-motorized traffic flow. There should be adequate parking bays in areas close to the expressway.”
Full coverage: Kherki Daula takes a toll on Gurgaon
The expressway also does not have bus bays, auto stands and spaces for public transport vehicles to halt so commuters can alight safely. It is because of this reason that people can be seen standing at Kherki Daula, Narsinghpur, Hero Honda Chowk, Shanker Chowk, opposite India Bulls building and near Airtel building in Sector 31.
For pedestrians, lack of contiguous footpaths is a major anomaly. Wherever these footpaths exist, they are hardly used either because the surface is broken or they are encroached upon.
Amit Bhatt, a transport expert, says that there is an urgent need for a good quality bus service in the city. “Facilities for pedestrians and mass transport system, particularly buses, is key to reducing traffic jams and congestion,” Bhatt said.
Highway administrator Ashok Sharma, however, says that urbanisation in Gurgaon happened so fast that no one could apprehend the traffic would increase so soon. “There is no land on both sides of the road. According to the law, at least 30 metres of land on both sides of the highway should be open space,” he said.