Residents seek underpass to cut long route short

 Residents of over 100 localities in east Delhi's IP Extension are pressing for the construction of a tunnel under the rail tracks. The underpass will slash the distance to Preet Vihar Metro station from four kilometres to mere 500 metres.

The underpass would connect the 9th Avenue Road of IP Extension to Preet Vihar blocks D and E, as displayed in the map of the area. Residents propose that the tunnel could be constructed by using the Delhi Development Authority land next to Saint Andrews School in IP Extension to connect with 80-feet-wide road between block D and E of Preet Vihar on the other side of the track.

The underpass is the only way that would ease the hardship they face in commuting between their homes and workplaces, residents said.

“At present we are forced to spend extra time and money just to access public transport. Due to lack of DTC and feeder buses in the area, the residents have no option but to reach either Hasanpur or Mother Dairy depot to catch a bus,” said Ravinder Gupta, a resident of Trilokya Apartment.

Traffic chaos
Residents complained of traffic chaos at some nodal points of the area which include lanes and by-lanes of Madhu Vihar, Chander Vihar and Mother Dairy.
“The absence of an underpass not only burns a hole in the pockets, but also wastes valuable time. If the approach to the Metro station becomes walking distance, it would barely take five minutes for us to reach it. Even people who now park their car at the Metro station would prefer leaving it back home,” said Shamu Taunk, resident of Chander Vihar.

A subway would bring several other benefits to the residents on both sides of the track. Students of 13 schools in  IP Extension would have easy access to the regional office of the Central Board of Secondary Education, which is only few metres from the railway tracks in Preet Vihar; the commercial complexes in Preet Vihar and on Vikas Marg would come closer; and fire tenders at the IP Extension Fire Station would reach areas of Preet Vihar on the other side of the track quicker.

‘CM informed’
The residents have already approached Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna.

“We have presented the entire proposal to all concerned. While the railway officials have assured that they have no objection to the project if Delhi government clears it, the public representatives as well as the CM and LG have in principle agreed to it,” said Ravinder Gupta, who is also the president of NGO Rajiv Gandhi Ekta Samiti.
However, residents say they want the proposal to be implemented quickly. A signature campaign is planned.

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