STILL AT WORK Flyover that promises a signalfree ride from Noida to Delhi is delayed though it is ‘almost complete’
NEWDELHI:It is 8.45am on a weekday along the Noida Link Road in front of Mayur Vihar Phase-1 in east Delhi, but the road heading towards Akshardham is already packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic. As if the scorching morning sun is not enough, the heat generated from cars moving at a snail’s pace makes the experience worse for motorists.
MOHD ZAKIR/HT PHOTOn The new flyover will be meant for traffic coming from Noida and going towards Akshardham.Some two-wheelers are able squeeze through gaps in barricades and sneak a few hundred metres ahead of the logjam.
Usually, the reasons for such jams can be attributed to Delhi’s roads overloaded with huge volumes of traffic or poor road design. But, for the patch on Noida Link Road, the reason is an upcoming 800-metre flyover, which has already missed three deadlines. Work on the flyover has left a trail of barricades along the road.
As a result, traffic crawls as soon as it enters Delhi from Noida on most days.
Once ready, the Noida Link Road flyover aims to provide a signal-free ride from Noida to Akshardham and other areas in east Delhi. This flyover will run parallel to an existing flyover on Noida Link Road, which currently is being used by the traffic coming from Delhi and going towards Noida.
“But, the project looks stuck for now. The pace of work was quite good when construction of the bridge began in May 2015. Now, things have slowed down,” said Ashutosh Gupta, a resident of Sadar Apartment of Mayur Vihar-1.
Other residents were intrigued as to why the flyover was not being opened despite “appearing” to be complete.
The public works department (PWD), which is constructing the flyover, said work on the flyover is 95% complete.
“Ramps to the flyover are being built now and crash barriers are to be put along the stretch,” said a PWD official associated with the project.
Apart from that, the PWD will build a loop so that those coming from Sarai Kale Khan have direct access to the flyover to reach Noida. Once this loop is ready, the department will open the corridor.
Despite being 95% complete, the PWD said it has set a fresh deadline for its completion, which has pushed commissioning of the flyover by exactly a year. The department said the flyover will now be operational only by September as it will construct a loop to connect it with the Barapullah Phase 3 corridor.
When work on the flyover started in 2015, PWD had set a target of completing it by September 2017. But, that could not happen because PWD did not get an approval from the forest department to remove trees along the stretch.
The deadline was then rescheduled to February 2018, but this, too, was missed. A new deadline was set and this time it was May, which, yet again, passed by.
Joint commissioner of police (traffic) Garima Bhatnagar said the Delhi traffic police has given all approvals for the PWD to go ahead with opening the flyover. “Rumours were being spread that the traffic police has asked the PWD to first finish all loops connecting the flyover. This is not true,” Bhatnagar said.
A PROBELM OF LOOPS
As per the plan, the Noida Link Road flyover will have six loops, which residents said would transform the area. These loops, according to PWD, are important as it would allow commuters to travel directly to south Delhi from east Delhi and Noida and vice versa.
“Construction on ‘Loop 5’, which will allow people coming from Sarai Kale Khan to use the new flyover and go to Noida directly, will take another three months. First, we will build the portion that falls above the flyover so that the current incoming traffic towards Delhi is not obstructed,” another official, who is part of the project, said.
Once the span over the flyover is ready, PWD said it will open the new flyover. “The other patch of the loop, which falls on the existing Noida Link Road will then be taken up and traffic on that part of the carriageway will be stopped for construction,” the official said. Once the flyover opens, the signal will be removed and Mayur Vihar-1 bound traffic will be managed with the help of two loops.
The flyover will also connect commuters directly to the Barapullah elevated corridor, which is expected to reduce travel time and provide signal-free movement between Mayur Vihar and INA.
The long wait, however, is “getting frustrating” for residents of Mayur Vihar Phase 1 and Mayur Vihar Extension.
Knowing that he will have to wait for three more months for the flyover to open, Ratul Ahmed, a resident of Mayur Vihar Extension, said, “The long wait is getting really frustrating.”