FASTER DELHI RIDE: UP CM Yogi Inaugurates Six-Lane Elevated Road Over HindonAditya Dev, Abhijay Jha & Ayaskant Das TNN
Ghaziabad: NCR’s longest flyover, a 10.3km, six-lane elevated road that connects Raj Nagar Extension in Ghaziabad with NH-24 at the Delhi border, opened to traffic on Friday morning, nearly three months after it was completed but had to wait for environmental clearance.
The road is the secondlongest in the country to be built on viaducts — after the Kanpur bypass on NH-2 (23km, approximately) — and reduces the journey time between UP Gate and Raj Nagar Extension to just 10 minutes from 45-60 minutes that it normally took in peak traffic before the road opened. The rod has a speed limit of 80kmph.
It also greatly benefits those headed for Meerut, Haridwar and Dehradun by allowing them to bypass busy Ghaziabad traffic. Since it has been integrated with NH-24, whose widening up to UP Gate is almost complete, it basically gives Delhi-Ghaziabad traffic a signalfree ride between Sarai Kale Khan and Raj Nagar Extension, a distance of 25km that can now be covered in half an hour or less, depending on traffic.
However, the flip side is that the road cannot service traffic headed for Indirapuram and Vasundhara from Delhi. That’s because the ramp on the UP Gate-Raj Nagar Extension carriageway is only meant for incoming cars headed in the direction of Raj Nagar Extension.
The ramp cannot be used for exit. The ramp on the opposite side can, however, be used for exit but only by cars coming from Raj Nagar Extension that want to enter Indirapuram.
The flyover, called Hindon Elevated Road, or elevated road, which runs along Indirapuram’s Hindon canal, was inaugurated at 11.15am on Friday by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, almost three and a half years after construction started in 2014 when the state was under Akhilesh Yadav’s rule. Eager to take credit for it, a group of Samajwadi Party workers had even done an “inauguration” of the bridge earlier in March.
The CM and his entourage, as well as senior BJP functionaries that included Ghaziabad MP and former Army chief V K Singh, were the first commuters on the road as they took a 3km ride before proceeding to the Ramlila ground in Kavi Nagar to address a public rally. After that, the road was thrown open to traffic from the Raj Nagar Extension side.
Kuldeep Ahlawat, an associate manager (IT) with Perfetti Van Melle in Gurgaon and one of the first commuters, said, “The biggest benefit will be that commuters will now be able to save 30-40 minutes of their journey to Delhi. We will also save on fuel which is wasted waiting at several traffic signals otherwise.”
The road has the potential to change Ghaziabad’s fortunes and lift the status of its real estate, both in trans-Hindon townships like Vasundhara and Indirapuram as well as Mohan Nagar and Raj Nagar that have always been in the shadows of Noida. With the Red line extension of Delhi Metro, via Mohan Nagar up to New Bus Stand, also nearing completion, residents of these areas will see a quantum improvement in connectivity with Delhi and the rest of NCR.
But there was also concern about possible bottlenecks that traffic headed towards Raj Nagar Extension would face. Sarvendra Kumar, delivery head with Salm Solution, said, “We have been waiting for the opening of this road for a long time. It will help us reach Delhi in the shortest possible time during peak hours. But Raj Nagar Extension will face a huge traffic inflow from nearby areas.”
Pramod Dhankar, general secretary, RWA federation (Ghaziabad), said, “The Raj Nagar Extension crossing will face a massive jam due to traffic from Meerut and Modinagar from one side and Raj Nagar, Kavi Nagar and Govindpuram on the other side. A few alternative roads were planned by the civic bodies, but are yet to be commissioned. Let’s see how police and civic bodies deal will this issue.”
A TOI team also travelled on the flyover from Raj Nagar Extension to UP Gate and back on Friday afternoon. It took us nine minutes one-way at a speed of 80 kmph. However, there at least three possible traffic bottlenecks that will worry Ghaziabad police — at the entry point to the flyover in Raj Nagar Extension, the exit to NH-24 underneath UP Gate flyover and at the foot of the mid-point exit ramp at Kanawani (Mohan Nagar Link Road) in Indirapuram.
There was a jam at the Raj Nagar Extension entry at the newly installed traffic signal in the absence of monitoring by cops. Vehicles travelling in the opposite directions from Raj Nagar Extension and from GT Road side merged into each other at the rotary. The U-turn that the GDA is constructing near the Raj Nagar Extension rotary will take about three months to complete and the traffic signal installed as a stop-gap arrangement will be done away with. The signal, however, needs to be manned by traffic cops, especially during peak hours, because of a tendency to break rules.
At the Kanawani exit ramp in Indirapuram, descending traffic will run straight into vehicles on the Hindon canal road. Police have planned to make this stretch one-way.
Near the UP Gate exit, vehicles taking a U-turn below the UP Gate flyover or travelling towards Kaushambi are merging with each other in opposite directions.
Hyderabad-based Navyuga Engineering Company, which built the road, has its maintenance for the next five years after which it will be handed over to the GDA. Of its total length of 10.3km, 9.3km is elevated. There are 3,497 conjoined segments supported by 287 single pillars or piers with an average height of about 10 metres.
The pillars are concrete structures buried about 32 feet into the ground.
Built at a cost of Rs 1,147 crore, it is expected to see a traffic load of about 4,000 vehicles per hour during peak hours. A patrolling team will carry out round the clock survey of the road and, in addition, will also provide 24-hour ambulance services with paramedical staff to attend to any accident victims on the stretch. Heavy vehicles are barred from entering the elevated road as of now.