Despite two decades of growth and development in the city, the Haryana government and the local administration have time and again failed to ensure smooth traffic movement in Gurgaon. Major intersections in the city such as MG Road, Golf Course Road, Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, etc. continue to remain bottlenecks.
“The city has huge malls, corporate offices and residential complexes, but the traffic situation is bad. We prefer not to travel in and around the city, especially during peak hours. I remember waiting in my car at Iffco Chowk traffic signal for over 40 minutes one evening,” said Niharika Walia, a Gurgaon resident.
As per the Integrated Mobility Plan for Gurgaon prepared in 2010 by the department of town and country planning (DTCP), an average of three lakh vehicles enter and exit the city daily, apart from intra-city vehicles. Another 90,000 vehicles have been registered annually in the last five years, taking the total number of private vehicles registered in the city to 11 lakh in 2016.
The number of vehicles is far more than the traffic police strength in Gurgaon. Only 335 personnel are available to manage the city’s huge traffic volume. Moreover, faulty engineering and lack of coordination among various departments – the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) and the DTCP – further aggravate the problem.
“Our roads are not designed after proper research. They are built on obsolete estimates and engineering that is not sustainable for the high and ever-growing traffic in Gurgaon. Local bodies are trying to work properly on the new projects but the major problem would still remain as the old roads are not well-designed,” said Dr Sewa Ram, associate professor in transport planning at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
Not just the vehicles, but even pedestrians walking on the roads hamper traffic movement. Lack of proper zebra crossings, faulty traffic signals, and missing foot overbridges (FoB) and footpaths often force pedestrians to cross intersections along with the traffic, adding to the existing chaos.
One such example is the Z-Chowk near Huda City Centre metro station. With no proper footpaths and only one FOB, that too without an escalator, metro commuters often disrupt traffic movement when they cross the road. The traffic signal present there is only for the vehicles.
“I cross Huda City Centre metro station every evening. It is a very risky spot as pedestrians, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, buses and cars cross Z-Chowk all at once. Even if there is signal, most of them do not follow it. Due to lack of an FoB, pedestrians walk on the road, halting traffic and forcing vehicles to stand in jams for a longer time,” said Shreyasi Shingatgeri, a pharmacy student.