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IGI, Gurgaon closer but traffic volume may go up

IGI, Gurgaon closer but traffic volume may go up

Commuters are looking forward to Tuesday. They are hoping that when the Rao Tula Ram flyover opens, it will put an end to the chaos that happens between Munirka and IGI airport: an everyday reality for them for a decade.

Travel time between south Delhi and Gurgaon will be cut down by nearly 20 minutes, and this alone has gladdened hearts. Officegoers are happy about the extra time to sleep they will get in the morning, while autorickshaw and taxi drivers are happy about the prospects of making more money by completing more rides.

“I travel to Dhaula Kuan daily and reach office in a foul mood because of the traffic jam. This has also impacted my relationships at work. I never thought that something as trivial as a traffic jam would affect my mood to such an extent. This flyover is bringing a ray of hope for me,” said Himanshu Sharma, a regular commuter.

Karan Kumar, a cab driver, echoed Sharma’s thoughts and said, “Life will be a lot simpler after the flyover is inaugurated.”

Kumar said it often takes nearly 50 minutes to cross this 2.7km stretch. “It matters a lot when you have a crisis in family. My mother is on her deathbed. I am the only earning member. There are days when there is an emergency at home and I have to return home. I often get late. Now, I hope to reach my mother on time when the flyover opens,” he added.

The flyover is expected to see about 2 lakh vehicles daily. It is also expected to ease traffic volume on roads that pass through Moti Bagh, RK Puram and Vasant Vihar. For the time being, the existing flyover will carry traffic from Gurgaon and Indira Gandhi International Airport towards south Delhi while the new flyover will have traffic going from south Delhi to IGI and Gurgaon. A traffic plan will be put in place only after a week of monitoring the flow.

Traffic police have asked PWD to relay the existing flyover due to the damage it has incurred.

But hopes and expectations notwithstanding, reality may be a bit different. A bottleneck is expected to form at the mouth of the flyover opposite DGIS camp since the number of Gurgaon-bound vehicles is expected to go up when the flyover opens. And Sewa Ram, senior professor of School of Planning and Architecture, said that another bottleneck might form at the mouth of the existing flyover during the evening rush hour as vehicles coming from Gurgaon and going towards Moti Bagh and RK Puram will be directed to RTR Marg.

The police might also push for removing an evening market near Sangam Marg that chokes the carriageway going towards south Delhi.

Experts also expect the traffic volume to go up on roads like Aurobindo Marg since commuters coming from Noida, who use the DND-Barapullah route, would now prefer using the RTR flyover to reach Gurgaon or the airport instead of the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road. They say the snarls along Outer Ring Road are expected to go down but cannot be done away with unless the underpass at Benito Juarez Marg is ready for vehicles to go to Vasant Vihar and Vasant Kunj.