The Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway is associated with multiple traffic bottlenecks and Shankar Chowk intersection is one such maze of U-turns, right turns and diversions which, along with the imposing Sirhaul toll plaza, makes the area a commuters’ nightmare.
Shankar Chowk acts as the bridge between the two most densely populated office and industrial complexes of the city — Udyog Vihar on the side of Old Gurgaon and DLF Cyber City towards the new city area. But, the positional advantage of the junction is lost in the round-the-clock traffic congestion.
“When the National Highways Authority of India was planning the expressway, the main issue was to cater to the inter-city traffic on the carriageway. No thought was given to the traffic issues associated with vehicular traffic of Gurgaon," said JC Yadav, former engineer-in-chief, public health, Haryana.
"The issues at Shankar Chowk are not isolated, but are part of the larger traffic malaise of the city. The service lanes around the chowk are narrow, so are the exits. The problem needs to be dealt with in a holistic manner,” he added.
Another problem that has been plaguing the commuters for the past several months is the construction of the Rapid Metro project that has thrown the place in disarray due to a number of diversions. Lack of proper signage is another facet of the problem, which gets exacerbated owing to the numerous road blocks.
Those coming from Delhi and going to Udyog Vihar are badly affected as they first get stalled at the toll plaza, then take a U-turn and only after that can they enter the industrial area. “
The concessionaire firm lamented that despite a dedicated 8-lane toll plaza set up in September for people exiting from Udyog Vihar and wanting to come on to NH-8, this passage was hardly used because of narrow and blocked internal lanes within Udyog Vihar.
A spokesperson of concessionaire DGSCL said that as against the expected 20,000 daily commuters, hardly 1,000 to 1,500 vehicles used this 8-lane toll plaza on a daily basis and that too on weekdays only.
Experts also point out that the service lane that feeds Shankar Chowk from the Sirhaul side is too narrow to take the pressure of vehicles during peak hours. The roads exiting the Cyber City complex leading to the expressway are also constricted as compared to the traffic volume that enters the area as well as that which originates from within.