Commuting hassles on Gurgaon expressway to end next year
With key infra projects at critical junctions to be completed by the end of this year, crossing Gurgaon expressway will be a smooth affairgurgaon Updated: Nov 12, 2017 23:28 IST
City commuters could soon see an end to regular hassles that they face while crossing the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, from east to west and vice versa, by the end of this year.
While the authorities had planned to open a clutch of underpasses and flyovers at three major junctions by the end of this year, the ban on construction work imposed in the wake of rising pollution levels in the city might push back the launch of these key infrastructure projects.
Authorities banned all construction activities on Friday till November 14 after the city’s air quality was marked as ‘severe’. Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), however, said they will make an effort to make up for lost time and deliver the projects on schedule.
Commuters who find it difficult to take right and left turns to and from from the city towards Delhi and Jaipur and vice versa are in for some respite as well. The hassles faced by commuters in crossing the Gurgaon expressway goes back to 2008 when it opened to traffic. However, it has multiplied many times over since work on these infrastructure projects — flyovers, U-turns and underpasses — began in September 2016.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will open two underpasses at Rajiv Chowk, one at Hero Honda Chowk, one at Signature Tower and another at at Iffco Chowk in December. At Iffco Chowk, one elevated road, an elevated U-turn and one underground L-shaped U-turn are also proposed to be thrown open to the public.
So far, the flyover at Hero Honda chowk, an underpass near tau Devi Lal Stadium, a flyover at Maharana Pratap Chowk and an elevated u-turn at Iffco chowk have opened to traffic.
“I live in South City I, which is situated barely 500 metres from Signature Tower. I am forced to take a left at Signature Tower to reach the Sector 31 underpass crossing for the U-turn towards Delhi. Similarly, on the way back, we have to exit the highway 500 metres before Signature Tower, towards Leisure Valley park to South City, driving through a maze of traffic, needlessly burning time and energy. I am eagerly waiting for the underpass to open,” JS Chadha, a resident of South City, said.
Hemant Kumar, a resident of New Colony, said, “The expressway construction was poorly planned. The flyover and underpass projects will bring us huge relief, but will not resolve the problem entirely. Traffic jams will still pose a hindrance to commuters on the left and right turns after exiting the expressway.”
At all four junctions — Hero Honda Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Signature Tower and Iffco Chowk — the traffic police have enforced left and right turns for smooth construction of flyovers and underpasses.
Geographically, the expressway divides Gurgaon into east and west from the middle of the city. Old Huda sectors — from 1 to 23 — and colonies under MCG are located west of the highway. Huda sectors 24-57, which were developed in the first phase, are located on the east of the highway.
Sectors 58-115 were developed in the later phase. Of these, sectors 58-80 are located on the east of the highway, while the rest fall on the west. Two major Huda road projects — Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) and Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) — are on the extreme east and west of the city, respectively.
“In the last decade, there’s been a surge in population and housing projects in areas along the NPR and SPR, but connectivity continues to be a concern. The expressway posed a big challenge to commuters with regard to crossing these junctions. The state government strongly pursued the matter with the NHAI and urged them to suggest ways to make commuting easy. We believe commuting between SPR and NPR as well as between localities would be much easier from next year once the work on these projects end,” Yashpal Yadav, administrator, Huda, said.
In 2014, the NHAI announced plans to decongest the highway and two years later, in September-October 2016, the work on unclogging the expressway got under way.
Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI, Gurgaon, said, “These are four major junctions that need to be decongested urgently. By December 31, all underpasses and flyovers will open to traffic.”
In July, the NHAI opened the flyover at Hero Honda chowk, while the underpass at Rajiv Chowk and the flyover at Maharana Pratap Chowk opened in August. The elevated U-turn at Iffco Chowk was opened a week ago.