Tall claims but bottlenecks remain
Although commuters have been getting a toll-free ride on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway for the last three weeks, the problem of traffic snarls is far from over - rather it has aggravated at main crossings of the stretch.
Poor planning and lack of coordination among the stakeholders - Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL), Haryana government, Huda, NHAI and traffic police - have left these crossings as major bottlenecks.
Although some efforts are being taken to ease mess at these spots, sceptics say they are half-hearted.
However, Huda officials are confident that their initiatives would alter the situation for good. "We are widening the slip roads along the NH-8 and we have dismantled some triangles at major intersections," said a Huda official.
But facts tell a different story. The Huda is yet to transfer "the promised 15-metre land along the expressway" to NHAI for widening of the service lanes. It has also been slow in implementing its commitment to construct slip roads at main crossings.
Earlier, the traffic, which comes from Delhi to Gurgaon, used to get slowed down at the plaza. But, now, with no restriction, huge surge of vehicles triggers jams at Shankar Chowk, Iffco Chowk, Signature Tower Crossing and Rajiv Chowk.
As a result, the snarls spillover to the slip roads and other interior roads.
Maxwell Pereira, the former joint commissioner (traffic) of Delhi Police, said there are many design faults with regard to the expressway.
"The situation on the expressway crossings has turned pathetic after the toll plaza was allowed free flow of vehicles. Major flaw lies with the width of the service lanes as the catchment areas such as Udyog Vihar generate huge traffic volumes and service roads are unable to take the load," he said.
The situation worsens during the peak hours.
The expressway authorities are trying to expand slip roads by cutting to size the green belt along the road, and remove triangle bifurcations on slip roads.
But these efforts haven't reaped good results yet as work is moving at a snail's pace.
Huda has started work on two slip roads, one at Rajiv Chowk and another at Sector 18 crossing. But no one is sure when it will end.