What happens when one of two dams on a river is dismantled? The channel gets unrestrained and chaotic. That might be the case with the incessant traffic flow on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway once the Delhi-border toll plaza is removed, experts say.
As traffic flows freely into Delhi and Gurgaon from National Highway-8, the already stressed Rao Tula Ram junction and Parade Road junction in Delhi are expected to witness longer vehicular pileups. Similarly, all crossings on the e-way as well as the Kherki Daula toll plaza will see snarls as more people will start using this toll-free stretch.
Anticipating the situation, the Delhi traffic police have decided to keep the stretch right up to Parade Road or Subroto Park signal-free for smooth movement of vehicles. As an immediate measure, they also plan to make both the carriageways on the two-lane RTR flyover open for vehicles plying towards Gurgaon during the morning peak hours.
"Besides general vehicles, we anticipate problems in managing heavy commercial vehicles as after the removal of the toll gates these vehicles would occupy maximum space on the roads leading to jams at these two points. To manage these, Gurgaon police may need to put barriers on the road," said Anil Shukla, additional commissioner of police (traffic), Delhi.
According to experts, the traffic volume on the expressway is likely to go up by 12 to 15 per cent after the toll plaza at Sirhaul is removed as the motorists who had been avoiding this stretch of NH-8 to abstain from paying toll or getting stuck in traffic jams at the toll counters will start using it now. Rohit Baluja, president, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) and director, College of Traffic Management, Faridabad, said the news that the toll plaza was to be removed had left him worried.
"I believe that as the stretch becomes toll-free, the commuters who are currently using alternative road links with Delhi such as MG Road and Old Delhi Road would start using the expressway and the traffic volume in terms of number of vehicles is likely to go up by 12 to 15 per cent in that case. Lakhs of vehicles would enter Gurgaon from the Delhi side without having to halt at Sirhaul and the authorities should plan in advance," Baluja said.
Experts say the rise in the number of vehicles will have an impact on the expressway as well as the arterial roads in Gurgaon. A similar experience was witnessed in September, 2012, when the Gurgaon expressway was made toll-free for about a fortnight following an order from Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) welcomed the order. "There might be problems of congestion at some points, but the removal of the gates would surely reduce travel time of the commuters," said S Gangopadhyay, director, CRRI..