Going from bad to worse

Going from bad to worse

Government agencies have spent crores of rupees in putting in place each of the dozens of flyovers in the city. But several of them, which were to streamline the major intersections of the city, have now themselves emerged as obstructions in smooth traffic flow.

There are several examples. Four flyovers and one underpass on the 7-km stretch between Ashram and AIIMS have failed to ensure smooth traffic on Ring Road. Rao Tula Ram (RTR) flyover, an important flyover built to connect airport-bound traffic, has proved to be a disaster. The 1.6-km-long flyover at Naraina crossing on Ring Road is a driver’s nightmare, while traffic jams at Ashram flyover kill all the time a motorist saves by driving through Delhi-Noida Direct (DND) flyway.

Each of these flyovers have their own set of problems. Traffic moves bumper-to-bumper on these flyovers, particularly during peak hours.

Safdarjung-AIIMS to Ashram

The stretch has four flyovers and one underpass at Moolchand. But traffic comes to a standstill during peak hours. Jams starts from Safdarjung-AIIMS flyover itself as traffic at the intersections merges from Safdarjung Enclave, Green Park, INA and Ring Road.

Here, merging traffic coming from Safdarjung Enclave, Green Park, Yusuf Sarai and R K Puram on Ring Road causes a heavy jam at the exit point of the flyover. The location of bus stops just ahead of the flyovers on Ring Road adds to the mess.

With the stretch having some of the most popular commercial centres like South Extension and Lajpat Nagar, heavy traffic makes it impossible for motorists to escape jams on the stretch. “The average speed of vehicles on these stretches is much lower compared to even roads that have signal crossings. The beginning of Metro work on the stretch has only worsened the situation,” a traffic police officer says.
Scene at RTR flyover

It was conceived as a vital link to decongest traffic moving between the airport and south Delhi. However, the flyover that cost Rs 60 crore has proved to be a disaster. The single carriageway flyover was later converted into a two-way flyover with just one lane in either direction to cater to heavy traffic in the area. Instead of helping things, the flyover itself has become a major cause for snarls.

The flyover was opened for traffic from the airport to IIT in early 2010. Soon, the planners realised the flaw in planning. It was observed that the volume of traffic on the other side (from IIT towards airport), particularly during peak hours, was high. After six months of operation, the flyover was converted for use by traffic moving from IIT towards the airport.

But this too did not work. After some time the one-way flyover was converted into a two-way carriageway, which has resulted in jams on both sides during peak hours.

Apart from bad planning and execution, what hampers traffic are factors such as building bus stands too close to either ends of a flyover. Vehicles coming from the flyover have to considerably slow down, resulting in long traffic jams

Naraina flyover mess

The long jam observed on this stretch of Ring Road reaches Brar Square. The 1.6-km-long flyover at Naraina crossing was built to make driving fast and easy between west Delhi and south Delhi. But the flyover, for which several encroachments were removed from the roadside at Naraina, itself started seeing traffic jams. One of the biggest reasons for jam is the width of the flyover. “The width of the carriageway is not enough compared to the volume of traffic moving on Ring Road. The Ring Road carriageway suddenly narrows as traffic reaches the flyover, thus causing a jam on the flyover,” says S Velmurugan of CRRI. It exemplifies why a proper assessment of all aspects of a flyover needs to be done at the planning stage, he adds.

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