You might consider the Metro god's own gift to Delhi but the city's roads tell another story — the construction of underground Metro tracks on arterial roads invariably lead to huge potholes and long traffic snarls. The good news: the chaos will soon be history.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has decided not to park its equipment in the middle of busy thoroughfares — the practice during Phase I — but keep to the fringes while constructing tracks for the Phase II. "We generally take up the central part of a road for construction. In Phase II, we have taken up less area of the roads, leaving more area for traffic movement where construction work is on," said C.B.K. Rao, director (project and planning). When the Metro takes up the central part of roads for construction, there is more traffic load on the rest of the road, which leads to more wear and tear.
"In Phase I, we had taken up 11 metres of road for construction. This was reduced by one metre during construction of the Barakhamba-Dwarka line. In Phase II, we have occupied only 8 to 8.5 m of the road," Rao said. DMRC believes this would lead to smoother flow of traffic on roads where Metro's construction is on. The reason DMRC will be able to go easy on the roads is that it is constructing smaller piers (pillars) and viaducts in Phase II.
Delhi Metro has faced criticism from civic bodies earlier on the bad condition of roads that they take up for construction. Two major examples are the Panchkuian Road and the main road in Rohini.
"Apart from reducing the area of construction, we will also try to provide as much space to road traffic as possible. This, however, depends on the location. There is constraint of space in built-up areas," said Anuj Dayal, chief public relations officer, DMRC. "In Phase II, we have tried to avoid as much inconvenience to the public as possible. We are also acquiring minimal private land for this phase," Dayal said. "Most of the Metro lines would be above the main roads. We would only require land for constructing stations."
DMRC will acquire land in Shahdara, Dilshad Garden, Azadpur and Nangloi. Even there, it will try and carry out minimum demolitions.