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Mukarba Chowk grade separator fails to end woes of motorists

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

Huge traffic jams at Transport Nagar T-point despite 195-crore investment


Proposed flyover at Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar T-point not constructed

PWD wants the T-point closed but traffic police say move will block exit from Transport Nagar


NEW DELHI: With the commissioning of the Rs.195-crore Mukarba Chowk grade separator in the Capital in March this year, motorists approaching it from the North side had heaved a huge sigh of relief in the hope that it would bring an end to endless traffic jams that used to be witnessed there.

But that was not to be and even today huge jams are commonplace at the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar T-point on G. T. Road that leads to Mukarba Chowk.

“Recently when I returned from a vacation in the hills I was hoping for a smooth ride home. But at the Sanjay Gandhi Nagar T-point I was stuck for nearly an hour. What is the point of spending so many crores on a project when it does the people no good?” says Rahul Sood, a businessman of Rohini. He is not alone.

So what went wrong with the much talked about project?

Answering that question, Delhi Public Works Department Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan explained over the weekend that the Delhi Government originally had proposed to construct a flyover where the T-point stands today.

“We had prepared the plan and sent it to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for approval. Had the approval come, we would have straightaway called for tenders. But the owners of 20-odd shops which needed to be relocated for the flyover influenced the MCD into not approving the flyover. However, we would be pursuing the matter again in the larger public interest.”

Mr. Chauhan said that as an immediate solution to the vexed problem, which he had foreseen at the time of the commissioning of the project, the Public Works Department wants the light traffic to be eliminated straightaway. “This would allow for free flow of traffic on the busy G. T. Road. As for the vehicles coming from the North and bound for Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar they would only have to go up to Mukarba Chowk and come back from there. In doing so they would be travelling a little extra but would be saving about an hour’s time.”

“Similarly,” he said, “vehicles coming out of Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar and desirous of taking a right turn will have to first go left and take a `U’ turn from the underpass that is being constructed by the National Highways Authority of India. I have also urged the NHAI to speed up this underpass proposal.”

But while the PWD wants the T-point to be closed at the earliest and has written to the Delhi Traffic Police about it, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Northern Range R. K. Pandey says the cut would be closed only after necessary structures are constructed or else the right movement of traffic coming out of Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar would get blocked.

Ironically, the Mukarba Chowk grade separator was conceived in 2000 as traffic survey and studies indicated a very sharp increase in the volume of traffic here.

It was taken up to provide relief to traffic coming in from the Northern States of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

Also it was to benefit the traders coming to Asia’s largest fruits and vegetables market at Azadpur.

The grade separator, which handles nearly 2.36 lakh vehicles daily, was constructed by the PWD within 27 months and its four slip roads were commissioned in March last year.

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