New panel to address issues at Iffco Chowk, Rajiv Chowk pedestrian underpasses

The four-member committee will assess the design feasibility of the Rajiv Chowk underpass, and make proper arrangements for lighting, CCTV cameras, and signboards at the Iffco Chowk underpass
The pedestrian underpass at Rajiv Chowk, in Gurugram on Friday. (Vipin Kumar /HT)
The pedestrian underpass at Rajiv Chowk, in Gurugram on Friday. (Vipin Kumar /HT)
Published on Oct 02, 2021 01:53 AM IST
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The Gurugram administration has formed a four-member committee for carrying out field visits at two pedestrian underpasses -- Iffco Chowk and Rajiv Chowk -- in the city, for identifying and addressing the issues and resolving those accordingly, said officials on Friday.

Deputy commissioner Dr Yash Garg took this decision during a meeting on the district road safety on Thursday.

“During the meeting, officials of Gurugram administration, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Raahgiri Foundation, and Gurugram traffic police had raised the issues faced by pedestrians at the two underpasses. The issues need a thorough assessment, so as to resolve those. Hence, a committee comprising representatives from each of the four departments concerned has been formed for this task,” said Garg.

Garg had directed the committee officials to assess the design feasibility of the Rajiv Chowk underpass, and make proper arrangements for lighting, CCTV cameras, and signboards at the Iffco Chowk underpass.

Ishan Gogoi, programme coordinator, Raahgiri Foundation -- who also attended the Thursday meeting, said that officials of the foundation, NHAI, Gurugram administration, and Gurugram Police had visited the two underpasses on Wednesday.

“During the visits, we conveyed our observations to the district road safety committee, which led to the formation of the four-member committee. The committee’s main task is to check if the two underpasses can be revived, and also come up with alternatives to facilitate the crossing of pedestrians at both the junctions,” said Gogoi, adding that the committee is exploring possibilities of introducing traffic signals at these junctions, and it will take a call on recommending that depending on the feasibility.

The non-motorised transport (NMT) underpass at Rajiv Chowk has been closed since July 19, when an auto-driver had allegedly drowned inside it after the facility was flooded with water following spells of heavy rainfall. Pedestrians said that the underpass, near Jaipur bus stand, is unlit, and empty alcohol bottles and cigarette filters are often found inside it, which deterred them from accessing it.

During the committee’s Wednesday visit, the NMT underpass was also found to be closed, said Gogoi. Following which, the contractor of the underpass was served a notice and given a one-month deadline to reopen the facility after ensuring it is properly lit and clean. The underpass was, however, closed on Friday.

Due to the prevailing issues, both the underpasses see little to no users. “Even when the NMT underpass was open, I never used it because of safety concerns... people consume liquor or drugs inside it quite often,” said Rajiv, who works at a nearby hotel.

The Iffco Chowk underpass, near Sulabh Complex, is also unlit. However, unlike the NMT underpass, this underpass is more compact, with air circulation and lack of daylight being major issues, according to the pedestrians. “Even during daytime, I have to turn on my cellphone’s torch to get a view of the underpass. The air circulation inside it is poor, due to which people feel suffocated there,” said Kunal Yadav, a resident of Sukhrali village.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021