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In a year, go under and over to Qutub Minar

In a year, go under and over to Qutub Minar

New Delhi:

It’s quite a hassle negotiating the road past the All India Institute of Medical Sciences down to Adchini and on to Mehrauli. Lakhs get stuck on the arterial Aurobindo Marg not only because of the traffic volume, especially at peak hours, but also because of encroachments, illegally parked vehicles and the road design. There’s respite for them in the offing: the Public Works Department plans to decongest the road with two underpasses and an elevated corridor.

PWD officials disclosed that each of the two underpasses will be 500 metres long. The first one dives under the IIT flyover to open up at Essex Farm, while the second begins on Mehrauli-Badarpur Road and goes below its intersection with Aurobindo Marg. They will be six lanes wide, three on either side. To avoid the constricted length towards Adchini, PWD will also construct a 3-km-long elevated corridor with six lanes from Mother’s International School to Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

The Rs 900-crore project will benefit commuters coming from and going towards Mehrauli, the site for the Qutub Minar complex, RK Puram, Gurgaon, Aya Nagar and Panchsheel Enclave. According to PWD officials, once the project is cleared, construction work will take a year for completion.

Encroachments along Aurobindo Marg continue to slow down traffic despite the corrective measures taken by PWD and traffic police.

These encroachments, the pedestrian crossings near AIIMS and the rows of cars parked near Adchini crossing create bottlenecks for the commuters. There are several residential colonies in the area and around 800 small and big commercial establishments. According to PWD officials, more than 2.5 lakh vehicles ply on the road every day, and 7,000 are parked on either sides of the carriageway.

The earlier interventions, including a U-turn around 50 metres from Aurobindo Market, have only created choke points. The U-turn near the exit gate of AIIMS has added to the mess. The creation of the Uturn in the middle of the road drastically reduced the road width and left it prone to accidents. In the short distance between Nili Masjid and Yusuf Sarai, therefore, vehicles are forced to slow down three times. The Uturn at Aurobindo Market is now notorious for vehicles from Green Park approaching it from the wrong side of the road. The two traffic signals and an unmanned cut for pedestrians bunched together between AIIMS and Green Park have rendered what was once a clear passage into a clogged one.

The traffic jams at these points have lengthy tailbacks that are aggravated by parking assistants further down the road taking up much of the space to create a separate lane to park vehicles, according to sources. PWD officials said that the civic authorities regularly request the residents and shop owners not to park their vehicles on the roadside, but there is little compliance.

PWD officials said the construction of the new underpasses and the elevated roadway would clear the area of jams, while making more space available for vehicles. “Even though a lot of regulatory steps were enforced on the stretch, the traffic situation was never eased,” an official conceded. “Realising that the situation was only worsening and people had to endure endless traffic jams here, the proposal of constructing the underpasses and elevated segment was considered.” After completion, the stretch will be beautified and the security enhanced with CCTV cameras.

DEADLINE: PWD claims project will be completed in a year from when work starts