Demolition of shops to rid Dabri-Palam Road of traffic snarls
Two cellphone repair shops, one grocery store. That’s all it took to cause crippling peak-hour snarls on west Delhi’s Dabri-Palam Road, near the Pankha Road flyover. However, in July this year, upon a city court’s orders, the building that housed the three shops was razed, and one of the focal points of entry into the Dwarka subcity was liberated.
The three shops at the mouth of the flyover loop on Dabri-Palam Road, which connects to the Pankha Road flyover, reduced a 150-foot wide entryway to less than 20 feet. But the demolition of the shops have considerably improved the situation, and authorities and residents are hopeful it will not only ease traffic in the area, but also take the load off the Dabri-Palam Road.
This road serves as an alternative route for commuters going towards Dwarka, Palam, Gurugram and Kapashera coming from Janakpuri, Uttam Nagar and Sagarpur. At present, the nearly 2.5-km-long Palam flyover — the primary entry point to Dwarka — mostly remains clogged during peak hours. Traffic police officials said the Dabri-Palam Road, with its space can now take the load off the Palam flyover.
The Public Works Department (PWD) has converted the space earlier occupied by the shops into a motorable stretch. With the development of this stretch, of Dabri-Palam Road, residents of Dwarka sectors 1, 2 and 3, Mahavir Enclave and other parts of southwest Delhi will be able to use route to skirt traffic jams.
Dabri-Palam Road also serves as an important link for Dwarka-, Airport-, and Gurugram-bound commuters coming from areas in west Delhi such as Janakpuri, Sagarpur and Uttam Nagar.
“The widened stretch has allowed commuters more right-of-way. This will come as a huge relief for residents of Dwarka and Palam since the road had turned into a bottleneck,” a senior PWD official said.
The problem began around six years ago, when the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), in March 2013, constructed a two-way flyover on Pankha Road to decongest Dabri crossing. The traffic logjam was only partially solved three shops were located almost bang in the middle of Dabri-Palam Road and near the foot of a cloverleaf road (flyover loop) that joins the Pankha Road overpass.
The property owners — Ajay Mittal and Devender Kumar — moved court in 2013 and the case continued for over six years. In March 2019, the owners mutually agreed to handover the property to the DDA on grant of compensation. The court on July 19, 2019, ordered the demolition of the shops and directed the DDA and PWD to expedite the process of widening the road.
The shops were demolished in the last week of July.
According to Mittal, though he suffered losses in selling his property, he did it for residents of Delhi. “Keeping public welfare in mind, we have mutually agreed to give up the property, which was worth crores of rupees, to the DDA against a meagre amount — ₹60 lakh. We also wanted that the public not suffer and the traffic bottleneck be ended.”
According to estimates by the Delhi traffic police, nearly 30,000 vehicles cross the stretch everyday during peak hours.
Traffic police personnel deployed at the location said the situation had improved after demolition of shops.
“This was a major bottleneck as about a 150-ft wide road used to shrink to less than 20ft near the foot of the flyover, causing huge traffic jams up to several hundreds metres long. After the demolitions, the traffic situation has improved a lot,” Sanjay Kumar, a traffic police officer at the spot, said.
A resident of nearby Dabri village, Raman Valmiki, concurred and said there would be traffic on the stretch with long tailbacks upto Raghupur and Vashist Park in Sagarpur.
“The traffic problem persisted for the last six years. Every hour was a peak hour here as vehicles used to crawl at this point. Now, since the hurdles have been removed, the traffic situation has improved, providing relief for Palam- and Dwarka-bound motorists,” Valmiki said.