Rajendra Kumar Goel, a retired bank official, was happy to see an encroachment-free Anand Vihar–Maharajpur crossing in Ghaziabad. But his joy was short lived.
The stand for autos plying from Maharajpur to colonies such as Vaishali, Vasundhara, Indirapuram and Mohan Nagar have been moved back by several hundred metres from the border. This means that Goel and thousands of Ghaziabad residents who take the Metro daily will have to walk down around a kilometre from the stand to the Anand Vihar station.
“It is really painful for a senior citizens like me to walk down to the Delhi border in this heat. The auto stand should have been somewhere near the border as they are the only mode of transport in Ghaziabad,” Goel said.
In view of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and for the construction of a grade separator at the Anand Vihar crossing, Delhi’s public works department officials had sent letters to the Ghaziabad administration, requesting them to remove encroachments in the area that also has Road 56 in it.
The road is on the approved transport route from the Commonwealth Games Village to the Yamuna Sports Complex in East Delhi.
Major encroachments inside Uttar Pradesh territory were removed and the auto and bus stands were moved back last week.
“The new auto parking is creating problems for women and children. We have to walk to Anand Vihar Metro station, which is around a kilometre away,” said Pooja Negi, a Vaishali resident and a daily commuter to Anand Vihar Metro station.
Ghaziabad District Magistrate Hridesh Kumar was not available for comments but Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Raghubir Lal said an encroachment-free border was their priority and the present stand has been created to rein in errant autos.
“The auto stand will remain at its specified place. Commuters will have to walk down to the Delhi border otherwise there will be traffic congestion. Commuters will feel more comfortable in coming days as the area gets free from all encroachments,” SSP said.