The Delhi-Gurgaon expressway stretch of the National Highway 8 (NH-8) has some big design loopholes which has resulted manifold traffic problems in its five years of operation, says Ram Niwas Malik, chief engineer (retired), HSIIDC.
The major design fault is that the architects were not able to anticipate the traffic problem along the expressway. If we look at the small portion of service road of NH-8 between Iffco Chowk and Sirhaul toll plaza, the traffic volume contributed by Udyog Vihar is much more than the main carriageway traffic. Together, the traffic creates a big bottleneck.
There's similar problem between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula toll as institutional and factory areas in large numbers are located along the stretch. They have direct access to the expressway through service roads.
The Haryana government and the NHAI have been silent spectators and have not suggested anything to resolve the traffic problem at four important crossing points — Shankar Chowk, Iffco Chowk, Signature Tower and Rajiv Chowk.
The expressway provides easy passage only to that traffic that passes over it from the toll bridge to the Rajiv Chowk, notwithstanding the nightmarish congestion at the Sirhaul toll bridge. It was only a half-baked solution as it did not take into account the overall traffic problem along and across the expressway.
Look at the traffic snarls at Shankar Chowk, Iffco Chowk, Signature Tower and Rajiv Chowk. The flow of traffic at these crossings is much more than the traffic moving along the expressway. This points out that an integrated approach was not adopted by the NHAI for executing the expressway project.
Now the ball is in the court of Gurgaon administration. The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) must sit with the NHAI to build flyovers across the four crossings.
The flyovers at these crossings over and above the expressway will not present a difficult proposition, provided these are designed for light vehicles which constitute 85-95% of the total traffic flow.
In fact, constructing elevated corridors from Signature Tower to Kataria Chowk over the Maharana Pratap Chowk will decongest traffic flow at Signature Tower to a great extent.
Likewise, elevated corridors from Iffco Chowk to Shankar Chowk, parallel to the expressway, will decongest the entire traffic flow coming from Udyog Vihar. These elevated corridors can be constructed quickly if these are designed for light vehicles only.