Ghaziabad: Plan to provide relief from traffic congestion fails to take off
Ghaziabad: Even as Ghaziabad suffers high pollution levels and traffic congestions due to festival rush, the district administration is yet to put in place its proposed “car-free zone” plan for 17 traffic hot spots. The traffic police said that they have not received any directions to decongest the hot spots.
Commuters said that most of the major roads and markets in the district were packed to capacity with traffic.
“I reached Navyug Market from Noida’s Sector 63 in over an hour through NH-9 and Vijay Nagar Link Road. There is a major traffic on NH-9, Meerut Road and also in old city markets. If there was any plan to regulate traffic, it has almost failed to give relief,” said Sachin Soni, a resident of Kavi Nagar.
In the wake of rising pollution, the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) had last month identified 17 hot spots which suffer heavy traffic congestion leading to air pollution. The identified hot spots are ABES cut, Vijay Nagar crossing, Tigri cut, Santosh Medical crossing, Lal Kuan flyover, Atma Ram steel crossing near Vijay Nagar, Ghanta Ghar, Meerut crossing, Raj Nagar Extension crossing, Sihani Chungi, Old vegetable market, Sahibabad-Seemapuri crossing, Bhopra crossing, Site IV industrial area at Sahibabad, Loni crossing, Tila Morh crossing and Tronica City.
In a press statement issued recently, the Ghaziabad administration said that they will be making up the 17 hot spots as “car-free zones” and also mentioned that their initiative was appreciated by the Union environment minister.
When HT sought the “car free zone” plan from district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey, he said that he has come up with three-pronged strategy. The administration has also planned common parking near 34 major markets, wherever possible.
“We cannot restrict all the 17 hot spots. So, we have come up with three-pronged strategy. In areas of busy markets, we have identified spots for common parking and from there visitors can walk. So, we have come up with parking at four such places. At places where traffic cannot be stopped at all, we have decided to deploy more traffic police and civil defense personnel,” Pandey said.
He further said that in other areas, the administration has requested residents for restricted movement. “This may include measures like provision of online shopping or home delivery of items. High-rises can depute one person to take up purchases of their items. Further, instead of many people going out, few can go to markets and can even resort to car-pooling. So, in this manner we can surely reduce traffic congestion,” the DM added.
However, Ramanand Kushwaha, superintendent of police (traffic), said that the traffic police department has not received any direction for the hot spots.
“There is no traffic diversion at the hot spots as we have not received any directions so far. The common parking has come up at two places -- Nehru Yuva Kendra adjacent to Ambedkar Road and at Ghanta Ghar Ramlila Ground. These areas have big markets around them,” Kushwaha said while adding that areas in Indirapuram and Sahibabad do not need common parking.
He also said that the “car-free” zone plan is being chalked out for Raj Nagar District Centre (RDC). “There is already a vehicle-free zone at RDC and we are planning to increase it till the Diwali festival. At other points in the city, we have deployed additional personnel to maintain smooth flow of traffic,” he said.
Due to festive rush, the online traffic status at 5pm on Thursday showed that there were traffic snarls at major roads that included CISF Road and Chijarsi near Indirapuram; Vijay Nagar cut, ABES cut and Lal Kuan on NH-9; Ghanta Ghar, Chaudhary Morh, Meerut Crossing, Arthala, Mohan Nagar and Shyam Park, among others on GT Road.
“Due to Dhanteras, there is almost two to three times traffic on roads. The situation becomes worse with roadside parking. Everyone is parking vehicles wherever they find space. Major affected roads are the ones of CISF Road, Kala Patthar Road, Mangal Bazar, Orange County road and also near Jaipuria Mall,” said Pradeep Gupta, convener of Vyapari Ekta Samiti – Indirapuram.