GMDA, NHAI to conduct a joint study for a proposed underpass at Vatika Chowk
The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will be jointly initiating a technical study for constructing an underpass at the heavily congested Vatika Chowk, said GMDA officials on Tuesday.
Vatika Chowk is one of the most congested junctions in the city, as the traffic from the major road networks in the area — such as the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR), Golf Course Extension Road, the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, Sohna Road or National Highway 248A,which connects Gurugram and Alwar — converge at the junction. During peak traffic hours, it can take commuters more than 25-40 minutes to cross the stretch.
Earlier in March this year, it was decided during a review meeting of the existing traffic congestion at Vatika Chowk that an underpass needs to be constructed at the junction, said VS Kundu, chief executive officer (CEO) of GMDA.
He said that last week, he had a telephonic conversation with a senior NHAI official regarding the matter, after which they both decided that a technical study would be jointly initiated by the two authorities for not only analysing the existing design flaws at the junction but to also come up with a design plan for an underpass at Vatika Chowk to addresses these issues.
“We want the NHAI to construct an underpass or to make a provision for it as we anticipate traffic condition to worsen at the junction. The NHAI has probably not planned the junction properly and the same was discussed during the GMDA meeting. Both the parties agreed that proper planning needs to take place. For this, a technical committee has been constituted having both NHAI and GMDA officials to look at the best possible ways to go forward. Based on its report we will initiate the next step,” said Kundu.
Kundu said that currently, the review of NHAI’s existing design of Vatika Chowk is being taken into consideration to see possible amendments that can be executed to make traffic at the junction more streamlined and easy to disperse.
As per NHAI officials who are privy to the matter, they are looking to design the underpass as a bidirectional one, with each carriageway having two lanes and carrying traffic between Golf Course Extension Road and SPR, which will help commuters from both sides bypass Sohna Road entirely. They are projecting the cost of such an underpass to be around ₹60 crore.
“GMDA has made a request to NHAI for taking up this underpass. I have sent the feasibility recommendation to the NHAI headquarters. A final decision is yet to be taken by the headquarters on it. We will take the next course of action based on their response,” said Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI.
As per NHAI officials, the possible construction of the underpass at Vatika Chowk is supplementary to the under-construction Sohna elevated road corridor between Sohna and Rajiv Chowk. The 21-kilometre signal-free corridor is expected to reduce travel time between Alwar and Gurugram by an hour and is expected to come up by 2022. It currently takes commuters three hours to cover the 120-kilometre stretch between the two cities.