Commuters, mainly office-goers, were stuck in a massive pile-up on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway toll plaza as residents of Ambience Island blocked traffic on Wednesday morning.
They were protesting blockade of the service lane that leads to their houses in the township comprising Ambience Mall, Hotel Leela Kempinski and Lagoon Apartments.
The police lodged an FIR against the protesters but no arrests were made till the report was filed.
Last week, there was major chaos when the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered closure of the U-turn for traffic headed towards Delhi just ahead of the toll plaza.
On Monday, the Bench had told the Haryana Police to ensure that no vehicle was allowed to take an L-turn at the toll barrier near Ambience Mall on the Gurgaon side. It directed the police to penalise motorists taking a L-turn.
Hundreds of residents and employees of Ambience Mall blocked the stretch during the rush hour from 9.15am to 10.20am on Wednesday.
Vehicles piled up from the toll plaza to the Mahipalpur flyover and commuters were even seeing having heated arguments with protesters.
Following massive protests and jams, the authorities had to remove the barricades and allowed commuters to gain entry to the service lane near Ambience Mall.
Despite the high court order, Praveen Kumar, administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), asked officers concerned to remove the barricades to ease traffic chaos.
“The court has given directions in the interest of the public but this directive has been affecting a huge number of people so we have decided to remove the barricades to ensure smooth ride for residents and customers of Ambience Mall,” said Kumar.
Almost 35,000 people visit the mall on daily basis.
He further said that he will raise this issue before the court during the next hearing.
The traffic police department, meanwhile, said they will issue challans to commuters who take a L-turn. "We will follow the court order and fine commuters who take a L-turn," said Ravinder Tomar, ACP (traffic).
Slip roads: way out?
In order to facilitate commuters wanting to approach the service lane along the Ambience Mall, Huda administrator Praveen Kumar directed developers DLF and Ambience Group to create slip roads to solve the U-turn problem.
He also asked the expressway operator, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL), to pitch in.
The three routes that the administrator is eyeing are between the Ambience Mall and DLF Phase-3 through green belts. “We wanted to trim the green belt area opposite the mall bit the management got a stay order against it,” said Kumar.
All the proposed slip roads fall in DLF Phase-3. The road along the greenbelt and road ‘V-40’ leads to Ambience Island.
“This can be a major approach road to Ambience Island. It will help residents get direct access to the township,” said Kumar. The other 12metre-roads, number 36 and 19, can also be used.
DGSCL refused to comment while Ambience Group chairman Raj Singh Gehlot said he was not aware about the new development.