The successful implementation of the ban on commercial vehicles on Civil Lines road since December, 2012 has eased the traffic situation on this VIP stretch a great deal. However, this has come at the cost of causing absolute unease to some stakeholders here.
The Civil Lines road that branches out from Rajiv Chowk leading to Old Gurgaon houses the residences of some of the city's most senior administrative officials: the deputy commissioner, the municipal commissioner, the police commissioner, the forest residential complex, the public works department (PWD) office, among others.
Despite being a VIP stretch, there is minimal police presence round the clock here, say residents. Though a police post has been put in place recently, one cannot find personnel there most of the times. Some residents had filed a writ petition to take things in their hands and restrict the entry of overspeeding commercial vehicles.
The ban, which came eventually, however, wasn't received well by some. The stakeholders adversely affected by it comprise the medical fraternity, residents and inmates of the District Red Cross Working Women's Hostel. According to them, the ban has led to a series of fallouts - difficult access to auto-rickshaws, crimes against women and hindrance to emergency services.
"The ban has hindered emergency services. An ambulance cannot enter the street from the Rajiv Chowk side because of the overhead barrier erected there. Hence, the ambulance has to enter the street from the other end at Mor Chowk, which takes much longer," said Dr SP Yadav, founder and managing director of Pushpanjali Hospital.
The "subject to destination" ban came in the wake of a court order passed in December last after Supreme Court advocate Sandeep Saini submitted a petition in this regard.
"Before the ban, share autos, tempos, trucks used to ply endlessly on this stretch, creating a lot of noise and air pollution. It was proved in the court that this had become a permanent nuisance and that a ban was the only solution to it," said Saini, who had filed the petition way back on 2009.
"We had filed a petition about three months ago against the ban. The priority is human life. Instead of the permanent barricade, a temporary one should be set up," said advocate Jagpal Singh Yadav, who is fighting the case.
The women of the working women's hostel, too, have expressed objection with regard to the ban when it comes to their safety and security. Three days ago, a 22-year-old woman from the hostel was harassed by a motorcycle-borne man. Many such incidences have occurred on this stretch in the past, especially after ban was imposed.
But the debate on the ban continues as some residents still opine that it has made the residential stretch a better place. "One could not sleep in peace here. These autos would play loud music and over-speed. Even the traffic police didn't regulate this. Hence, these commercial vehicles had to be either banned entirely or allowed," said Dr Manoj Mathur, a resident of Civil Lines.