The IFFCO Chowk leads on to National Highway 8 and travellers avail this stretch for multiple destinations. Those commuting to long distance areas such as Jaipur and Alwar or heading towards parts of the South-West, Central and North-West Delhi and the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the intersection remains their main entry or exit point.
For those commuting within Gurgaon, IFFCO Chowk leads on to MG Road, DLF Phase 4 and HUDA City Centre.
It also serves as an inter-state bus depot and, hence, sees a large passenger footfall with food vendors and those selling travel items and other essential goods lining the stretch and adding to the commuter chaos. Most vendors encroach on the main road.
Amidst all the chaos, any construction or route blockage is bound to disrupt the traffic movement on the stretch.
Owing to the construction of an underpass, a lane on either side of the Chowk remains blocked. For those availing exit-number 6 and heading towards MG Road from NH 8, the three-lane service lane that helped them commute has been reduced to two. The situation is same for traffic heading towards Udyog Vihar or Atul Kataria Chowk.
Since, the construction started in December; the traffic during peak hours on service lanes has spilled on to the arterial roads. A gridlock is a daily affair and any impasse due to construction activities disrupts traffic.
To put things in perspective, on the morning of January 28, NHAI officials dug a pit for erecting a pillar for the underpass near the turn towards Sukhrali. The two-lane service lane at exit-number 6 reduced to one forcing drivers to squeeze through the single-lane.
Such was the impact of the narrow space and heavy traffic flow for those trying to opt for the exit, the backflow stretched beyond Shankar Chowk.
From 9 am till 2 pm, the traffic situation was severe. It took the intervention of nearly hundred traffic police and NHAI officials to control the situation.
Since then, the NHAI has been directed to inform any expansion work to the traffic police.
“NHAI and traffic police officials held a meeting last week and decided for any expansion work, NHAI needs to inform police so that measures and preparations could be put into place in advance,” Sibash Kabiraj, joint commissioner of Gurgaon police, said.
Earlier this week, NHAI and Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GDMA) officials held several meetings to decide on the changes in traffic movement on site.
It was decided that exit number 6 has to be relocated 250 metres towards Jaipur to accommodate construction work of the underpass.
“By shifting the exit by 250 metres, vehicles coming from New Delhi could leave the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and enter the service lane with minimal disruptions in traffic flow due to the construction of the underpass,” V Umashankar, officer on special duty of GMDA, said.