Commuters may not have respite from snarls on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway soon as the completion of infrastructure projects to decongest the highway is three years away. There is no confirmation on the removal or shifting of Kherki Daula toll plaza — a major bottleneck on the expressway — either.
The major bottlenecks on this highway are Shanker Chowk, Rajokri, Iffco Chowk, Signature Tower crossing, Rajiv Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk. Underpasses are proposed at Rajiv Chowk, Signature Tower crossing and Iffco Chowk and an elevated u-turn is proposed opposite Ambience mall. A flyover at Hero Honda Chowk is under construction.
On Saturday, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) chairman Raghav Chandra visited the expressway and took stock of the situation. He admitted that non-availability of land and multiplicity of agencies having a stake on the highway is only delaying a solution.
Chandra directed officials to expedite the underpasses project. “We will try to improve the commuter experience as much as possible,” he said. NHAI officials, however, admitted that unless land is made available, underpasses on the expressway are likely to remain on only on paper.
During peak hours, 15,000 cars pass through Iffco Chowk, an intersection on MG Road and the expressway. This is combined with high number of pedestrian trying to cross the junction. An unauthorised market and an incomplete bus stand that seems to have been abandoned by the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon adds to the problems.
Neeraj Diwan, road safety officer, says that large number of buses, share autos and cabs are parked at this junction. “We introduced an extended u-turn at this junction and at Rajiv Chowk, and it has resolved the problem to a large extent,” he said.
The problem of snarls at Rajiv Chowk is also acute as vehicles from Old Gurgaon, Sohna, Jaipur, and the villages along the expressway converge here. Further ahead at Hero Honda Chowk, pedestrians compete with fast moving vehicles to cross the road, often leading to snarls and accidents.
Prof Sewa Ram, the chairman of a sub-committee on guidelines for intersection and interchange, says that a long-term corridor improvement plan should be prepared as constructing underpasses perpendicular to the expressway will not resolve the problem as it will not provide any relief to the traffic turning right.
The committee headed by Ram has prepared new guidelines that include projection of vehicles based on an econometric model and not on the average growth rate.