New life for flyover
The Delhi government on Tuesday decided to revive the plan to build a flyover over Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg at ITO and approach the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) again for approval.
The project — to make one of the busiest junctions of the capital signal free — had earlier been rejected by the commission.
The government reportedly is convinced that approval of the project is necessary as traffic movement at this intersection can affect traffic flow to other projects at various junctions in east Delhi, all of which are important in view of the Commonwealth Games Village and its venues.
A decision to revive the plan was taken at a review meeting headed by Delhi's Urban Development, Finance and Planning Minister Dr AK Walia.
The ITO-Vikas Marg Chungi underpass — which will make the Chungi intersection signal free — would be fully commissioned in July.
The minister asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to revive the flyover project at ITO to reap full benefits of the Chungi underpass. The minister said Trans-Yamuna traffic would otherwise accumulate near ITO resulting in substantial traffic jam.
The flyover project, conceived over three years ago, has been mired in controversy at various times over its feasibility. The Delhi Development Authority's technical committee has approved the project and the PWD was waiting for a green signal from the urban art commission to complete the work before 2010.
“We need to convince the DUAC about the necessity of the flyover,” said Walia. The government had mulled bypassing the commission and taking the project directly to the Urban Development Ministry.
Explaining the reason behind approaching the DUAC again, Walia said, “ITO is one of the busiest junctions of the capital and the traffic movement here can affect the traffic flow at several other locations — like the Chungi underpass, the Akshardham Junction, the Geeta Colony bridge and even the entire Vikas Marg — in East Delhi. We feel the DUAC approval is necessary so that other projects are not affected because of this.”
Walia said the commission's objection was based on the fact that extension of the Metro line to trans-Yamuna area would reduce traffic load on the stretch. “That can be true for now, but the population is bound to increase and so is the number of vehicles,” he said. “So, a flyover is needed at ITO.”
The DUAC had rejected the proposal in February this year.
The commission had said the traffic projections did not appear convincing, as the Metro service to trans-Yamuna and the improved public transport service (also on the Delhi government's agenda) would share a large load of the existing traffic.
Another objection was that those headed towards Vikas Marg would need to take a longer route, which would increase congestion.