Heavy congestion was reported on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway on Tuesday morning after a mini-truck carrying ice slabs overturned near Udyog Vihar Phase 4 around 8.20 am. Two cars moving alongside the truck towards Delhi were also caught in the accident and had to be removed from the spot. Traffic snarls continued later in the day too as waterlogging in various parts of the city due to rain slowed down vehicular movement.
“It was a prolonged jam today. I was stranded on the Iffco Chowk flyover for about an hour as vehicles did not move at all. I got late for a crucial meeting that was scheduled for 9.30 am,” said Ankit Chawla of Gurgaon.
According to a highway control room official, ice slabs from the overturned truck spilled over to the road, resulting in a jam for more than an hour. A heavy-duty crane that was pressed into service was also stuck at Iffco Chowk, further delaying removal of the truck and the two cars, said Arvind Singh Chauhan, in-charge of the highway control room.
Traffic jams extended to almost three kilometres from Udyog Vihar to Signature Tower. The incident also had a cascading effect on the internal roads connecting to NH8.
“We pressed a Hydra crane into service to remove the vehicles and ice slabs from the carriageway. Normal movement of vehicles resumed around 9.25am and the congestion is also likely to ease in another half an hour as the road is free from obstruction,” Singh said in the morning.
However, the expressway witnessed heavy jams in the evening too as vehicles moved slowly on the main carriageway. Jams were also witnessed at Sheetla Mata road, Old Delhi Gurgaon road, and Sector 17/18 dividing road as waterlogging slowed down traffic.
Sohna road, Sector 31, Rajiv Chowk, Sector 48 and several other areas in Old Gurgaon were also reportedly waterlogged.
Traffic jams, at times lasting for more than an hour, have become a regular feature in Gurgaon. According to estimates by road experts, more than a litre of fuel is wasted per hour when stuck in a traffic jam. Monsoons also compound the problem for city residents and commuters. Despite assurances by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar about addressing the issue of waterlogging, projects identified as critical for solving the problem remain on paper.
“As monsoon arrives, we start dreading travelling in Gurgaon. Every road from the main carriageway to service lanes and even residential colonies is flooded. Last year, the situation was so bad that I had to work from home for three days as the traffic jams lasted for three hours sometimes,” said Kunal Asthana, an MNC worker.
The daily struggles with traffic have also started affecting the firms set up in the city. Some companies have even shifted their offices to other regions of Delhi-NCR. According to industry leaders, the cost of doing business and expanding operations in Gurgaon increases due to frequent snarls.
“It is crucial that traffic management is carried out in Gurgaon. Some big and small companies have already shifted their officers to Noida or Faridabad as they do not want their employees to waste time stuck in traffic jams. We have raised the issue a number of times, but in vain,” said Ashok Kumar Arya, advocate, Supreme Court of India.
With inputs from Isha Sahani