Debris causing traffic snarls near RTR flyover
As the construction of a 2.7 km flyover parallel to the existing Rao Tula Ram (RTR) flyover nears completion, commuters at the Outer Ring Road between Munirka and Army Research and Referral (R&R) hospital are hindered by construction material and debris dumped beneath the newly constructed elevated road by construction agencies.
One of the most delayed infrastructure projects in Delhi, the new three-lane RTR flyover will start from Munirka petrol pump and end before NH-8, close to the R&R hospital at Subroto Park. It is expected to reduce congestion on the Outer Ring Road, RTR Marg and the Ring Road. According to officials of the Public Works Department (PWD), barring some finishing touches, the flyover is ready. While the government is yet to deciide a date for inauguration, officials said the facility is likely to be opened by the end of this month.
During a spot check, Hindustan Times found that apart from removing construction material and debris, the PWD — which has built the flyover — is yet to revamp parts of the footpaths and service roads at points on the stretch below the flyover.
“During peak hours, traffic moves at a snail’s pace near the RTR T-junction (on the Outer Ring Road), because the mounds of dug-up soil and construction material like bricks, tiles, rods can be seen lying on a portion of the road. Vehicles coming from Munirka have to manoeuvre their way to avoid obstacles,” Shyam Ahuja, a commuter who runs a shop in Vasant Vihar Market, said.
Near Poorvi Marg, construction machines are parked on the side of the road. The pavement around the Vasant Vihar bus stand was dug up completely and interlocking tiles, along with other material meant for revamp of the pathway, was kept on the broken footpath.
Similar conditions prevailed near the Paschimi Marg T-junction on Outer Ring Road. Construction material was kept near the service lane and the ootpath was yet to be repaired. However, barricades have been removed from the road. At the RTR T-junction, mounds of soil and debris are visible near the road, hampering traffic. There was no footpath and people were walking on the road. However, a few metres away, a pavement near the Shani Temple is damaged and revamp material is kept on the footpath. Similarly, a heap of debris is visible near Basant village along the Outer Ring Road.
PWD officials said the flyover is almost ready and claimed they have removed barricades and other traffic restriction on the road. They added that construction debris will be removed soon.
“At certain locations, we have built a footpath and made the service road motorable. These repairs will be completed on the entire stretch by the end of this month, and the construction debris will be removed soon,” a senior PWD official said on the condition of anonymity.
Sewa Ram, professor of transport planning at the School of Planning and Architecture, said that as per ministry of road transport and highways guidelines, the construction firm has to take care of vulnerable road users — pedestrians and cyclists — and make arrangements necessary. He said that the stretch sees“good pedestrian movement” because of two temples, markets and Basant village in the vicinity.
“Agencies should have demarcated a space for the hassle-free movement of pedestrians during construction. But now, since the construction of the flyover is nearly complete, they should clear the main stretch and the service road and focus on improving pedestrian facility there. They should revamp the footpath as soon as possible and not wait for some eventuality,” Ram said.