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Elevated corridor, meant to unclog Ring Road, gets Yamuna agency’s nod

By Ashish Mishra
PUBLISHED ON NOV 08, 2019 11:59 PM IST

New Delhi: The Public Works Department (PWD)’s project to construct an elevated corridor between Signature Bridge and Delhi Noida Direct (DND) Flyway, parallel to the Yamuna, to decongest the busy Ring Road has got the much-awaited nod from the Yamuna standing committee — the body that clears projects being taken up on the riverbed.

The committee, however, mentioned that the PWD will have to get mandatory clearances from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), ministry of environment & forest and climate change (MoEF&CC) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

“After detailed discussion, the committee said it has no objections to the proposal from the flood point of view subject to the following conditions: Physical model study for the project may be carried out by CWPRS (Central Water and Power Research Station), Pune, at the time of formulation of detailed project report to assess adverse effects, if any,” minutes of the meeting, accessed by HT, read.

The PWD, after completing a detailed feasibility study, had in June submitted the project to the Yamuna standing committee for its approval.

The project was announced by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in March 2018. The project envisages the construction of a 22km long elevated corridor, connecting Signature Bridge with DND Flyway to reduce the travel time between these points from the current one hour to 30 minutes.

The PWD has also made a slight change in the alignment as the earlier plan included use of Salimgarh bypass — a stretch of the Ring Road passing via Salimgarh Fort and IP Flyover.

The changes in the plan were made on the suggestions of PWD minister Satyendar Jain, who during a presentation, pointed out that the Ring Road is already congested and so there was no point of using the bypass stretch in the new project.

The Ring Road is used by around 1.5 lakh passenger car units (PCU) per day. PCU is a metric used by transportation engineers to assess traffic flow rate on a highway.

“Now that Salimgarh bypass road is not part of the plan, the entire corridor will be elevated between the Signature Bridge and DND Flyway,” a senior PWD official, requesting anonymity, said.

The officials say the nod from the Yamuna standing committee was one of the major hurdles, which has been cleared. It project will now be sent to the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning & Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC) — the apex body which okays all infrastructure projects in Delhi — for a formal approval.

“Since the project has been cleared by the Yamuna standing committee, the chances of it being stopped by other agencies are slim. We will send the project to UTTIPEC next month,” the official said.

According to PWD officials, this elevated corridor will serve as an alternative route to the Ring Road, which will run parallel to Yamuna and will connect around seven road bridges on the river.

Quoting an example, the official said that after the completion of elevated corridors and flyovers between Vikaspuri and Wazirabad, the entire stretch of Outer Ring Road has become signal free. As result, this has led to heavy congestion at Majnu Ka Tila T-junction and Metcalf House T-junction. The Signature bridge traffic is also contributing to this congestion.

The cost fixation of the project is yet to be done, but the PWD officials estimate it to be around 3,000 crore. The construction will be completed in 2.5 years from the date of starting work on ground.

Sewa Ram, professor of transport planning at School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), said as the Ring Road is already clogged, the construction of such alternative route is necessary.

“It seems to be an ambitious project as it would unclog the Ring Road but the authorities will have to ensure that the corridor has controlled access and is mainly used by end-to-end traffic otherwise it would become like any other clogged road.

He said the new road’s entry and exit points will also have to be designed meticulously to avoid confusion.

Double decker sections planned

The project also envisages the construction of two decks at certain locations.The second deck will be constructed three metres below the main traffic carrying deck. The engineers said the cumulative length of the double decker corridor will be 6km.

“The traffic will move on the upper deck while the lower deck will serve as an observatory corridor for the riverfront being developed by the DDA. This deck can be used by pedestrians to enjoy the riverfront as well as by e-rickshaws, cycles and cycle-rickshaws,” a PWD official said.

The double decker sections will be between Signature Bridge and Yudhister Setu (Kashmere Gate), along Salimgarh bypass, between Indraprastha Station and NH-24 crossing.

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