Commuters on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway witnessed yet another day of jams on Monday.
Snarls are a regular phenomenon on the 27-km crucial highway.
Experts and commuters say besides the absence of law implementing agencies to regulate traffic, the primary reason that causes congestions is poor management at exit and entry points and haphazard driving and violation of norms by commuters.
Areas such as Mahipalpur, Shankar Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk and Iffco Chowk are the major bottlenecks on the expressway as they are the worst-affected entry and exit points due to merging and diverging of traffic. The spillover of diverging vehicles, expected to be in one lane, in four-lane main carriageway leads to snarls. Similarly, jams are caused when vehicles moving in service lanes merge with the expressway traffic.
“On most occasions, jams take place due to commuters violating traffic rules at entry and exit points and driving in all lanes. We cannot always pin the blame on police. We also need to be sensitive,” said RB Jindal, a regular user of the expressway.
The heterogeneous traffic, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers, adds to the congestion.
Though the bottlenecks give a tough time to the traffic wing of Gurgaon police, nothing concrete has been done so far. The two and three wheelers are not allowed to use the expressway but they are often seen driving on the road.
Another regular commuter DK Yadav said, “The number of vehicles using the expressway has increased so much over the years that it has lead to extra load on the road. Commuters have to bear the brunt of insufficient infrastructure and faulty design.”
At all exits, including the one near the Airtel building towards Delhi, problem arises due to the merging and diverging of traffic on the main carriageway.
Dr Sewa Ram, associate professor, transport planning, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, said the root cause of the problem is faulty designing of entry and exit points where traffic merge and diverge.
“The expressway is already handling more vehicles than what it is designed for. The problems compounds at entry and exit points where the four-lane traffic on the e-way suddenly diverts in the service lanes,” he said.
As against the capacity of 8,000 vehicles, more than 21,000 cars use the carriageway every day, according to a recent survey by the School of Planning and Management.
Even the police personnel regulating traffic on the expressway express helplessness.
“We cannot fine people who violate the norms and use all lanes of the e-way during peak hours. All we do is divert them to drive extra miles on the main carriageway,” said a traffic policeman on duty.
Towards Gurgaon, a similar situation arises at Mahipalpur near the Raddison Hotel and Shankar Chowk. Here also long jams take place during peak hours as the traffic diverges from the carriageway to all four lanes.
At Shankar Chowk, most Gurgaon-bound vehicles usually take left towards Cyber City and DLF Phases. These vehicles also enter the carriageway.
Another worst affected area is the Iffco Chowk exit, where speeding of vehicles while taking the exit route leads to jams, from South City to Iffco Chowk. The stretch of the road at Hero Honda Chowk is no different.
However, after rain triggered snarls on Gurgaon roads, including the expressway, the traffic wing of Gurgaon police saw many changes, including appointment of the new head, Y Puran Kumar. Usually 1,200 to 1,300 challans are issued for traffic violations on the expressway every day. As part of a campaign by the traffic wing, more than 2,500 challans are being issued every day since Thursday.
“Gurgaon Police will strive to do its best in traffic management in the coming weeks and months,” said Navdeep Singh Virk, police commissioner.
“Unless we tackle the problem of merging and diverging traffic at the entry and exit points, we cannot expect an improvement,” said Dr Sewa Ram.