Not very long ago, during the mid-1990s, travelling in Delhi was a nightmare. And if you had to go out to its suburbs, it meant keeping a full day aside for the trip — traffic moved at a snail’s pace, honking would leave your nerves jangled while you waited in an interminable traffic jam, choking on exhaust.
Cut to today. Zipping around Delhi is a lot smoother, thanks to the number of flyovers that have come up over the busy intersections and slick-as-silk expressways connecting the Capital city to its satellite townships. And this despite the number of vehicles having multiplied over the years. Yes, it’s still very noisy on the roads — let’s just admit it: we Dilliwallas are loud! So as Delhi’s supper brats with swanky cars hit 150 kmph on state-of-the-art flyways, the old and cautious hold their breath and stare in envy.
Every time software engineer Ravi Singhal’s friend comes from Mumbai he makes it a point to take him out on a drive to Noida. Sounds like a show-off but he can’t resist it. Blame it on the stylish toll bridge. Thanks to the eight-lane flyway, it takes Singhal only seven-eight minutes to reach Noida from his Ashram residence, something unthinkable just a few years ago.
This is just a beginning. According to PWD Minister AK Walia, 24 new flyovers will come up in the Capital before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Delhi, it seems, is on its way to become the Flyover Capital of India. Just look around, work on flyovers is going on at crossings like Mukarba Chowk, busy-looking men in yellow hats are giving shape to the Gurgaon expressway.
Flyovers will come up on SA Marg, Shantivan crossing, Rajghat crossing, Bhairon road, Nizamuddin railway station road, in Adhchini, near Batra Hospital, Ambedkar Nagar-Khnapur, Saijdulajab, and Kamla Nehru college to give a big fillip to intra-city connectivity.
What’s more, the state government is gearing up to give Delhi a new aesthetic look before the Games. On the cards are projects like improvement and landscaping of all major roads in the city. Some of the roads to be beautifies are Panchkuian, Mathura road near Humayun Tomb, DDU Marg and Mehrauli road.
Even the three lakh-odd streetlights in the city will be spruced up and made uniform before 2010. And helping in this transformation are are experts from our own IIT. They are drawing up a detailed street-lighting plan for Central Delhi.
Sounds like a bright idea.