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Rapid Metro derails traffic

Commuters in the Millennium City have been facing a lot of problems since last Monday. The road connecting City Court and Bristol Chowk has been closed to carry out infrastructure development activities on the Rapid Metro project. Eshani Mathur reports.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2011 00:48 IST
Eshani Mathur

Commuters in the Millennium City have been facing a lot of problems since last Monday. The road connecting City Court and Bristol Chowk has been closed to carry out infrastructure development activities on the Rapid Metro project.

Although Metro authorities have joined hands with the traffic police to allow smooth vehicular flow, commuters have criticised their move of creating a detour.

Many commuters say such traffic jam never happened while Delhi Metro was under construction.

"When I used to visit malls from anywhere in Gurgaon or the Capital while Delhi Metro work was in full swing, I was never stuck in a long traffic jam. It was easy to drive," said Vishal Gupta, a commuter on MG Road. "But the diversions in Gurgaon are unscientific and not well thought out. They have added so much confusion and people keep driving in circles," he added.

Another commuter, Shruti Sahai, who was coming from Sikanderpur stretch, said she was heading towards DLF Phase 1 but got confused due to the road blockade. "I came to MG Road. I had to suffer a long traffic jam on this route. Why can't the authorities work out a proper solution to this problem? Do we have to suffer like this till construction is over?" she said.

Some years ago during construction of Delhi Metro, a large portion of traffic was diverted to the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway and alternative routes were prepared. The authorities took these steps before diversions were put into place. But commuters complain that work on the Rapid Metro project is unprofessional.

'Complex project'
Rapid Metro officials say traffic snarls can't be avoided due to the circular nature of the construction work.

"Delhi Metro project was taken up on a perpendicular and straight engineering pattern, while Rapid Metro follows a circular route. So we had to divert traffic to other routes and people have to face inconvenience for some time," said a Rapid Metro spokesperson.

The traffic police also held meetings and went on spot visits to chalk out alternative routes. "We spoke to the engineers. The Rapid Metro authorities are likely to present other routes in a day or two. If the traffic snarls persist or get worse, we will open the blockade," said acting DCP (traffic) Maheshwar Dayal.

The Rapid Metro spokesperson said the authorities will embed traffic helpers with the traffic police to manage the situation. "We are getting support from the traffic police, and we will deploy some of our people to help them. This will help ease commuters' troubles," added the spokesperson.

It remains to be seen how commuters respond to this idea. They say they don't want to get stuck in unreasonably long traffic jams during peak hours.