Residents brace for traffic jams as work on Sohna elevated road starts
Traffic movement between Vatika Chowk and Rajiv Chowk on Sohna Road is likely to remain affected till early 2022, due to the construction work on the Sohna elevated road that is presently underway, said officials familiar with the project.
Authorities on Sunday blocked off one lane each of the three-lane carriageways by installing barricades, between Central Park-2 and JMD Megapolis to facilitate the construction of a flyover at the stretch.
On Monday morning, the first working day after the changes were made, commuters took more than 20 minutes to clear the 800-metre stretch, despite the presence of large number of traffic officials. Motorists struggled their way through the narrowed path during peak hours.
The project involves the construction of a 5-km flyover between Subhash Chowk and Badshahpur by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for which the stretch has been barricaded.
“Traffic diversions will be continuously enforced at different points between Rajiv Chowk and Badshahpur until the project is completed as per our contractual agreement with the NHAI,” said Pankaj Gautam, project manager of Oriental Structural Private Limited (OSPL), the concessionaire for the project.
An NHAI official, who was overseeing the project until he retired recently, said that traffic diversion would be enforced for 30 months between Rajiv Chowk and Badshahpur in three phases.
“Currently, the work on the 5-km flyover between Central Park-2 and Iskcon temple in Badshahpur is underway for which the initial blockades have been put in place. This would affect the traffic flow between Subhash Chowk and Vatika Chowk. In the second phase, an underpass around Subhash Chowk would be constructed that would affect mobility around the junction. In the last phase, the width of the carriageways at Islampur village would be increased by three lanes that would affect movement around Rajiv Chowk,” the official said.
The official further said that commuters should brace themselves for blockades and route diversions till at least February 2022, when the work is expected to be completed as per the contractual agreement with the OSPL.
Meanwhile, commuters had a harrowing experience while navigating through the narrowed stretch between Vatika and Rajiv Chowk. “After I saw congestion on the road on Monday morning, I opted to take the service lane instead. The move, however, backfired as the narrow road width also led to heavy congestion on the otherwise free service road. The construction and traffic diversions caught me completely by surprise, and I was stuck at the stretch for over 20 minutes. I would take the arterial roads instead of Sohna from now on,” said Anil Chugh, a resident of Sector 50.
Anand Rungta, a resident of Sector 47, said that traffic violations further compounded the problem for commuters. “Besides the reduced road width, there were several two-wheelers which were being driven on the wrong side to escape congestion. This only added to the problem as at many times vehicles driving on the right side came head-on with them, and found it difficult to manoeuvre their way through,” said Rungta.
Ashok Sharma, project director of NHAI, said that the removal of unauthorised structures in Badshahpur is expected to be completed by next week. This will help in expanding the service lanes to two lanes near Vatika Chowk and reduce the overall congestion on the Rajiv Chowk-Vatika Chowk stretch.
“The work on demolition of illegal structures in Badshahpur village would be completed by next week. Provided monsoons do not prove to be a hurdle, the expansion of service roads may be completed within two months that would ease the discomfort caused to the commuters,” said Sharma.
The ₹1,300-crore Sohna elevated project has been envisioned to provide seamless traffic flow between Rajiv Chowk and Sohna by providing signal-free travel and assist commuters heading from and towards Alwar. It is expected to reduce the travelling time between Rajiv Chowk and Alwar to under two hours. It takes over 2 hours 50 minutes to cover the 120-kilometre stretch currently.
As per NHAI officials, work on the Sohna elevated project has been divided into two parts.
The OSPL is widening the 9-km stretch between Rajiv Chowk and Badshahpur by building the five-km flyover and the underpass for a cost of Rs 700 crore.
HG Infrastructure has been awarded the contract for constructing elevated stretches for Rs 600 crore between Badshahpur and GD Goenka University in Sohna, covering a distance of 12 kilometres, said officials.
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