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Delhi roads can’t take any more traffic load: Traffic police to HC

“The traffic volume plying on both Outer Ring Road and Guru Ravi Dass Marg is already oversaturated and beyond the designed carrying capacity of these roads,” the affidavit read.

delhi Updated: May 16, 2019 06:27 IST
Soumya Pillai
Soumya Pillai
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi,Traffic,roads
The Delhi Economic Survey (2017-18) shows that Delhi has 556 vehicles per one thousand people, with every second person in the city owning at least one car.(HT Photo)

Delhi’s roads are saturated with traffic and carrying vehicular load beyond their capacity, the Delhi Traffic Police said Tuesday in an affidavit before the Delhi High Court.

The affidavit was submitted in a case filed by the Citizens’ Alliance, a group of residents from Alaknanda, Greater Kailash-II and C R Park, before the Delhi High Court, opposing the construction of a mall on a 3.7-acre plot located in the middle of a residential neighbourhood in south Delhi’s Alaknanda.

“The traffic volume plying on both Outer Ring Road and Guru Ravi Dass Marg is already oversaturated and beyond the designed carrying capacity of these roads,” the affidavit read.

The Delhi Economic Survey (2017-18) shows that Delhi has 556 vehicles per one thousand people, with every second person in the city owning at least one car.

Apart from Alaknanda, the affidavit has also pointed out roads around Saket, Adchini, CR Park and Qutub Institutional Area that are carrying vehicular load three times beyond their original capacity every day.

During peak morning and evening rush, the situation gets worse with traffic snarls reported from these areas.

“The main roads are already exhausted and now the residential roads are being taken over by construction projects. Malls, etc., will draw more vehicles into residential spaces, which do not have the adequate infrastructure. Despite the citizen groups and traffic police raising this issue, the government agencies are going ahead with indiscriminate expansions,” said Laveesh Bhandari, member of the Citizens’ Alliance. Bhandari also pointed out to the lack of proper traffic assessments before sanctioning new projects.

Other stretches where roads are saturated, according to the traffic police, are the Uttam Nagar junction, South Extension (Ring Road), Kalkaji (Outer Ring Road), Moti Bagh (below the Ring Road flyover), extending up to Rao Tula Ram Marg flyover on Outer Ring Road.

Senior traffic officials said the problem of roads exhausted beyond their carrying capacity is not specific to these pockets. The increasing number of vehicles and new projects are likely to make things worse in the coming years.

“Every day, thousands of cars are registered in Delhi and development activities also concentrate on the population in certain sections of the city. Beyond a point, the roads will get saturated and speed will slow down,” said Meenu Choudhary, joint commissioner of police (traffic).

Experts agree that the vehicular boom and mindless development has been slowing down the city over the last decade. Subhash Chand, head of traffic engineering and safety division, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), said rampant development without traffic plans is a big worry. “Around 10 years ago, Delhi’s average speed was around 40kmph even during peak traffic hours. But now the average speed had gone down to 20kmph,” Chand said.

He said the condition of Delhi’s roads is like pot that is full to the brim but more water is being added. “What will happen? It will overflow. Similarly, traffic movement will also keep slowing down,” Chand said.

First Published: May 16, 2019 06:27 IST