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Millennium city: So near, yet so far

Mansi Kumar, a young Chartered Accountant, does not use the Metro. But when the first train chugged into Millennium City on June 21, her joy knew no bounds reports Sanjeev K. Ahuja.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2010 23:43 IST
Sanjeev K. Ahuja

Mansi Kumar, a young Chartered Accountant, does not use the Metro. But when the first train chugged into Millennium City on June 21, her joy knew no bounds.

For, she knows the Metro could save her from her daily ordeal on the road that begins in the morning when she sets out for work. If not today, may be sometime in the near future.

It takes Mansi around one hour to cover a 10-km distance from her house in Palam Vihar to her office in Cyber City. Ideally, it should take her about 20 minutes.

Her wish: There should be a Metro service between Palam Vihar and DLF Cybercity. And she has some hope.

Recently DMRC said that it was about to start survey work on the proposed Metro link between Dwarka and Iffco Chowk through Palam Vihar on the Haryana government's request.

Mansi is not alone. There are thousands like her who have to travel intra-city and intercity using their own vehicles as public transport is near missing and roads are overstressed because of the ever-rising traffic volume.

About 10 lakh vehicles ply on the roads on any given weekday in Gurgaon, including the Expressway.

"Even if I get out of my home an hour in advance, I never know how slow or fast the traffic will be. My office ends at 6 pm but instead of reaching home at 6:30 pm, I make it by 7:00 or 7:15pm," said Mansi.

For a city of 25 lakh, Gurgaon has just 10 low-floor government buses for intracity travel. Then there are crude modes of transport such as point-to-point shared autos and rickshaws.

If you want to risk your lives, then there are call centre cabs. All this for a city that has more than 100 Fortune 500 companies.

Ankita Jha, a resident of DLF Phase III, said she has no other option but either to drive to go to any place in town or Delhi. "I have to take my car. Buses are a bad option as they are poorly connected to Delhi."

Municipal Commissioner of Gurgaon Rajesh Khullar said the fleet of 400 buses supposed to hit the roads for plying inside Gurgaon was getting delayed at the higher level even after being cleared by the chief secretary.

"For decongesting the city roads, we have identified 52 points on various roads, including crossings, that required widening and upgrading. All departments have taken up their respective responsibilities," Khullar said.

On the local mode of transport for intra-city needs, RTA secretary J.S. Dahiya said there were 126 private buses in Gurgaon in addition to 12,000 shared point-to-point auto rickshaws.

Respite at hand

For Mansi and lakhs like her, the Metro offers hope. The DMRC has thrown open the 14.47 Gurgaon-Qutub Minar stretch and is expected to connect Gurgaon with CP in early August by opening the rest of the stretch. As per DMRC projections, about 1.60 lakh commuters are expected to use the service once the entire stretch opens.

Also, ground level work for the privately funded Metro Rail Gurgaon (RMG) has also begun. It will connect DMRC's Sikanderpur Metro station and make a 6.1 km loop around DLF City II and III and DLF Cybercity.