In 2018, dug-up roads caused max traffic snarls in Delhi: Police
In 2018, dug-up roads were the main reason for traffic and its redirection on roads of the national capital. Over 590 complaints reporting traffic jams caused by roads were recorded by Delhi Traffic Police helpline last year, officials said.
Records maintained by the traffic police show that till March 31 this year, 54 such complaints have been registered. This was followed by snarls caused by vehicle breakdowns—in 2018 there were 523, and this year the number stands at 23. In 2017, 412 such cases were registered , while in 2016, 231 traffic jams were reported because of dug up roads, traffic police records show.
Senior traffic officials said that on several arterial and traffic-heavy roads across the city, repairs and laying of underground services have resulted in several of them being dug up. This has become the cause of the long duration of traffic snarls.
Subhash Chand, head of traffic engineering and safety division at the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), said that traffic jams caused by dug up roads is a major problem mainly because there is no set procedure in place for seeking permissions, completing work and restoring the space for traffic.
“There are no safety barriers around the spots, diversion plans or information boards so commuters can take detours before they reach the affected area. Most of the contractors taking up the repair are not even trained to relay the road in its original state, and this, even after the repairs are over, continues to be the reason behind snarls,” he said.
“It becomes difficult to manage traffic volume with several portions of roads being cordoned off for repair. The problem worsens during the peak traffic rush in the morning and evening,” a senior traffic official in east Delhi said.
The official said though managing traffic on roads under repair was a difficult task, the department had no option but to provide permissions.
“Road repairs and maintenance are necessary. They might inconvenience commuters temporarily but we cannot deny permissions,” special commissioner of police (traffic) Taj Hassan said.
Records show that till April 5, major and minor repairs took place in 28 spots in the city. Dharam Kanta junction on the IGNOU Road, Pusa roundabout to Bagga Link Road, Mehrauli Road near Adchini bus stop, Rao Tula Ram Marg, and the road below the under-construction flyover near Vasant Enclave are some traffic-heavy roads affected by construction work.
Suhasini Iyer, a resident of Mayur Vihar phase-1, pocket-5, said that the 200-metre stretch on the Patparganj Road has been under-construction for over three months now, and has become a major chaos point for commuters. “The only alternative to that route is via the by-lanes of Patparganj village, which are under-maintained and clogged. One carriageway remains closed, even during peak hours, and commuters travelling from both sides have to share the open route, which is also dangerous,” Iyer said.
Traffic officials manning the route said controlling traffic is tiresome but they have found a system to help vehicles move smoothly. “Lanes on the open carriageway have been demarcated using boulders. It slows down traffic but at least some system is in place,” an official said.