The Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway has many automobile companies, Huda sectors and villages on both the sides. But has no big underpass on a 9.2-km stretch between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula toll plaza for four-wheelers and heavy vehicles to cross the road from east to west and vice versa. There are two small underpasses for pedestrians and two-wheelers on the stretch, but locals say they are inadequate and people are forced to cross the freeway amid fast-moving vehicles. Narrow service roads add to the problems.
The absence of a big underpass on the stretch forces the traffic to move in opposite directions from Rajiv Chowk to Kherki daula and vice versa.
“Absence of a big underpass forces us to drive on a narrow road in the opposite direction and cross the road amid fast-moving vehicles,” said Dalip Yadav, a resident of Kherki Daula.
Neeraj Diwan, road safety officer, said the movement of vehicles in opposite directions creates bottlenecks at the toll plaza, Darbaripur, near Hero Honda Chowk, Khandsa village and near Hans Enclave close to Rajiv Chowk.
“Had the service lanes been wide enough and designed to cater to the local traffic, there would have been no chaos. Poor maintenance of the road is also a major problem,” he said.
There is a long stretch on the expressway at Hero Honda Chowk that does not have barriers and is used by people to cross to the other side. This leads to long jams.
Though the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is building a flyover on the stretch, the project has been delayed due to encroachments and presence of power lines.
NHAI hopes that the construction of flyover at Hero Honda Chowk and underpasses at Rajiv Chowk, Iffco Chowk and Signature Tower will reduce congestion.
NHAI project director Ashok Sharma said that they want to expedite the construction of the flyover, but that will require shifting of the traffic to the service lane. Also, power utilities need to shift high-tension wires.
Satish Chandra, member, finance, NHAI, said these projects and other highways planned for Gurgaon will resolve the problem of jams. Experts, however, are not convinced.
Maxwell Pereira, former joint commissioner, (traffic), Delhi Police, said these projects should have been executed when the road was being built. “Now, they will become obsolete in three years,” he said.
Amit Bhatt, who heads Embarq in India, said, “For effective use of this road, there is a need to designate the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway from the national highway as an urban arterial road, shift regional traffic to Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway, construct footpaths and cycle tracks, impose speed limit, reserve lanes for passenger vehicles and add pedestrian crossing facilities.” Unless the character of the road is changed, it is not possible to address the problems faced by commuters, he said.