Traffic slows down at altered Bakhtawar Chowk in Gurugram
On the first full working day after Haryana Vision Zero (HVZ) executed engineering changes at Bakhtawar Chowk to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the junction, there was heavy congestion on one of the carriageways leading up to the junction on Tuesday.
Motorists travelling on CH Bakhtawar Singh Road from Rajiv Chowk to Bakhtawar Chowk no longer had enough space to make a U-turn at the junction, and had to wait until the traffic signal turned green to do so. This resulted in a long hold-up, with motorists taking 10-15 minutes to cross the junction.
“It was only after the signals turned green for a fifth time that I was able to cross the junction. It was a complete chaos. While water-logging on the stretch compounded the issue during the evening, the situation in the morning was no better. Many vehicles could not take a U-turn unless the lights were green, resulting in a heavy backlog,” said Anand Rungta, a commuter from Sector 47.
Harshit Shukla, a resident of Sector 50, said that those heading towards HUDA City Centre were also held up as the backlog stretched well beyond the traffic island that allowed signal-free left turn.
“Earlier, even if there was congestion at Bakhtawar Chowk, motorists heading towards HUDA City Centre from CH Bakhtawar Singh Road were able to take the left cut and proceed ahead. Today, however, the jam in the morning stretched well beyond the traffic island and obstructing path to those wanting to take the left cut as well,” said Shukla.
Gurpreet Singh, senior road safety associate (RSA) with HVZ, said that his team and traffic police are soon going to open a right cut next to Medanta hospital, which is currently blocked by barriers, and also make the traffic signal operational that will reduce the existing congestion at the junction.
“After surveying traffic flow at the junction, we have realised that the opening of a cut near Medanta hospital, located nearly one kilometre away, will not only help reduce the number of vehicles proceeding towards the junction along the carriageway, but the added time interval will also reduce the pile-up of vehicles at the signal,” said Singh.
Singh said that the cut will open latest by Saturday and ensure reduction of more than 1,000 vehicles approaching towards the junction from the Rajiv Chowk side every hour.
Nearly 13,000 vehicles use the junction during the peak traffic hour on average. Around 4,500 vehicles come from the Rajiv Chowk side, as per HVZ officials.
On Saturday night, Bakhtawar Chowk was redesigned by HVZ and road safety officers with the help of barricades, traffic cones and paints to make the crossing safer for pedestrians and check traffic violations. The median length and stop-points were extended with the help of jersey barriers, while overall the intersection has been compacted by 30%.
With Monday being a holiday due to Eid, Tuesday was the first full working day after the changes were implemented.
Traffic police officials said they will look into the issue. “I have been apprised by HVZ officials about the cut near Medanta hospital. We will get it examined before taking any further action,” said Himanshu Garg, deputy commissioner of police (traffic).