Vatika Chowk bottleneck chokes Sohna road, motorists seek way out
The construction activity undertaken by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) near the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) has created a bottleneck at the Vatika Chowk affecting traffic on Sohna Road.
Vatika Chowk is a busy intersection as it leads commuters towards Rajiv Chowk and the Golf Course Extension Road.
Hours-long jams have become normal here since the Huda cordoned off all lanes but one for concreting a stretch of the 16km SPR at Vatika Chowk, where SPR and Sohna Road intersect. To keep the traffic moving, the traffic police have turned this stretch into a two-way passage.
On any weekday, it takes motorists over an hour to cover this 1.5km distance.
The latest example of citizens paying for Huda’s lack of planning was Monday, November 20, when the office rush hour turned traffic on Sohna Road into a 3-hour nightmare starting as early as 8 am. The line of vehicles caught in this jam snaked back 4 kilometres despite traffic personnel manning the intersection.
Commuters said that even the service lanes have been blocked leaving motorists with little choice but to brave severe traffic.
“Over the past decade, snarls at Vatika Chowk has become a norm, but there were ways of bypassing this bottleneck. Earlier, I would to use the service lanes on either side to avoid the traffic. The construction on SPR has blocked off this option as well,” Bhavya Prashar, a resident of Tatvam Villas, said.
Huda administrator Yashpal Yadav accepted that traffic has been affected by the construction but promised relief soon.
“Work on this stretch is expected to get completed in another 15-20 days. Hence, commuters will face difficulties and there will be congestion, but only for a short while. Traffic police have been alerted to streamline movement,” Yashpal said.
The under-construction 16km SPR starts from Ghata near Gurgaon-Faridabad Road and ends at the Kherki Daula toll on National Highway 8 (NH-8). It connects the Golf Course Road with NH-8. Its completion is bound to add more vehicles to the Vatika Chowk intersection, thereby affecting Sohna Road.
It is expected that the vehicular load on this stretch will be compounded when SPR is completed and opened to the public.
Even though the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram and Huda have been conducting anti-encroachment drives along Sohna Road, it has brought no relief to commuters.
To streamline traffic, a 5km flyover has been approved and an underpass has been proposed. Since the flyover construction work has not even started, commuters will have to power through traffic jams for a long time before they get relief.