The proposal to build a flyover at ITO, gathering dust for the last 20 years, has been revived again by the PWD.
Unmindful of the practical problems at one of the busiest traffic junctions of the city, the PWD has appointed a consultant to draw an appropriate design.
The new consultant made his first presentation to the Delhi government on Tuesday. According to the presentation, a flyover would be constructed on the North-South stretch at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.
This flyover would start from below the railway bridge and end near the subway on Zafar Marg. For traffic going to east Delhi on Vikas Marg, it would have an arm (cloverleaf) leading to the direction.
For the East-West stretch, an underpass has been proposed. The road under the surface would start in Rouse Avenue and pass through the police headquarters and cross the Ring Road and emerge just before the ITO bridge on river Yamuna. It would be a six-lane underpass and around 1.5 km in length.
"We are fine-tuning the proposals. It would be then sent to the Technical Committee of the DDA for clearance," said PWD and Urban Development Minister AK Walia after the presentation.
Ironically, the proposal has left several gaping holes. The underpass is to be built by the cut and cover technology.
Engineers point out that while the construction work is on, the entire central Delhi would be choked of traffic.
"It would be like holding a trade fair everyday for three years during the construction period. This would be a commuters' nightmare," said an engineer, who did not want to be identified.
As the Vikas Marg has eight lanes, six lanes would be used to construct the underpass and only one lane on each side would be left for traffic. "Only one lane of open traffic would spell trouble for the motorists," said the engineer.
The Transport Department has its own reservations. The lanes for the High Capacity Bus System (HCBS) are to pass through this corridor. The presentation is not clear where the HCBS corridor would pass – from below the flyover or above it. "This is akin to inviting a problem of tremendous magnitude and traffic bottlenecks in entire central Delhi for several years," said a senior transport official.
There is another problem in hand. This is shifting of the services. ITO junction is the nerve centre for services like water supply, power cables, sewer lines etc. Officials point out that shifting the services is a Herculean task. In addition, making alternative arrangements for traffic flow is another nightmare haunting the PWD team, insistent on "decongesting" ITO.
Interestingly, PWD proposal to build a flyover at ITO has been turned down several times either by the DDA, the traffic experts or the urban planners.
The first proposal was sent in 1986, followed by two other proposals in 1998 and then in 2002.