Gurugram residents taking U-turn in Delhi must also comply with odd-even scheme
The traffic police of Gurugram and Delhi failed to offer respite to residents who have to cross the Delhi border and take a U-turn below the Rajokri flyover to head towards Ambience Mall and Ambience Island township during the odd-even scheme starting Monday.
On September 13, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the odd-even scheme will be reintroduced in Delhi from November 4-15, to check air pollution in the capital after Diwali and during the stubble burning season.
In January 2016 and April 2016, the two times the scheme was implemented in the national Capital, Gurugram residents travelling to these two destinations via Rajokri were penalised by the Delhi traffic police at the Sirhaul toll for violating the road rationing scheme.
Gurugram residents heading to DLF Phase-3 and Cyber City have the option of taking a U-turn on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway below the Shankar Chowk flyover.
For destinations located ahead, such as the Ambience Mall and Ambience Island township, they have no option but to cross the Delhi border and turn back.
Without any alternative routes and the construction of a U-turn flyover for Ambience Mall still underway, Gurugram residents fear they may face a similar problem this year too.
“My house is located in Ambience Island and I have no other route besides crossing the toll and taking a U-turn below the Rajokri flyover to head home from my office in Cyber City. There are thousands like me who do this on a daily basis. It is extremely unfair that we are sitting ducks for the Delhi Traffic Police every time the odd-even is implemented. On both occasions in 2016, I had to pay challans. This time around, I have no option but to avail app-based cabs on even-numbered days,” said Pratyush Trivedi, a resident of Ambience Island township who has an odd number registered vehicle.
Officials of the Delhi traffic police and Gurugram traffic police indicated that there will be no relief this year.
Himanshu Garg, deputy commissioner of police, Gurugram traffic police, said that the territory (Rajokri flyover and the Sirhaul toll) comes under the jurisdiction of Delhi traffic police and the decision of issuing challans rests entirely upon them as well as the Delhi government.
“Gurugram traffic police cannot interfere and undertake measures regarding the Ambience Mall/Island issue, as we do not have any authority on it. The area comes under the jurisdiction of Delhi traffic police completely. Delhi traffic police have made exemptions when the entry of heavy vehicles is banned in the national Capital and trucks are allowed to take a U-turn below the Rajokri flyover. They may take similar measures during the odd-even scheme. Regardless, the decision rests entirely on them,” said Garg.
Taj Hassan, the special commissioner of Delhi traffic police, said that vehicles violating the scheme and entering Delhi will be issued challans accordingly as the notification by the Delhi transport department is valid all in all areas of Delhi. “If an even-numbered vehicle enters Delhi when only odd-numbered vehicles are allowed to ply and vice versa, we will issue a challan to the violator. It is a policy made by the Delhi transport department and its notification clearly states it is applicable all over Delhi,” said Hassan.
Of the four-kilometre journey from the toll to the flyover and then to Ambience Mall, three kilometres fall in Delhi.
“It is difficult to avail of cabs as many drivers do not want to cross the toll and prefer to drive within Haryana to save on the toll tax. I remember two years ago, it was extremely difficult to find a cab and I only managed to get to work after waiting for a cab for 20-25 minutes,” said Shwetank Varma, who works at an eatery in Ambience Mall.