It’s a problem of plenty on GT Road

August 5, 2014

 Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Atul Mathur ■  

SEELAMPUR The stretch between Shahdara and Seelampur is flanked by one of the most densely populated colonies. Traffic here is a free-for-all.


  NEW DELHI: Flanked by one of the most densely populated parts of the city, a stretch of Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) — between Shahdara flyover and Shastri Park — is probably the most congested roads in northeast Delhi.

With bicycles, cars, trucks, horse carts, rickshaws and pedestrians all jostling for space, the road is a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians alike. The stretch also shows how flyovers and elevated roads alone cannot ensure the smooth movement of traffic.

The stretch serves as a gateway to one of the most congested residential areas in the Capital and is one of the most vital links between northeast Delhi and central and north Delhi.

The public works department had built a new bridge on the Yamuna, just ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010, connecting colonies south of GT Road with central Delhi. It took a lot of traffic away from the stretch yet the traffic volume on GT Road does not seem to have diminished. Apart from the local commuters, the road caters to a huge volume of inter-state traffic between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, especially commercial vehicles than run almost round-the-clock. A two-kilometre long flyover over Shahdara, a grade separator at Welcome and single carriageway flyover at Seelampur have collectively failed to solve the traffic mess on this road. Adding to the chaos is the construction of the elevated section of Delhi Metro’s longest line between Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar.

The traffic mess begins at Jhilmil but it compounds manifold as soon as one crosses Shahdara flyover. The grade separator, opposite Welcome Metro station, remains choc-a-bloc with vehicles during rush hour.

Delhi Metro has taken over a large portion of road and has barricaded it to carry out the construction of piers for its elevated section. The five-lane traffic — three lanes coming from the flyover and two-lane on the slip road — gets squeezed into two here creating a bottleneck.

“This is a major problem point. Buses, tempos, two-wheelers, bicycles and cars all try to get ahead of each other, resulting in jams,” said Gopal Sharma, a resident of Shahdara.

The problem of indiscipline on road is not just confined to this point. Drive another 200 metres and you are welcomed by scores of cars, two-wheelers, cyclists and pedestrians leisurely crossing the road even when the traffic light for straight-moving motorists is green.

“Just before the traffic signal, there is a U-turn under the Seelampur flyover which is used by people going towards Old Seelampur — located on the left of the road. In the absence of any traffic cops, the traffic going towards Old Seelampur moves across the road, causing snarls,” said Anoop Das, a government employee.

Just a 100 metres ahead, there is a traffic light which is actually a free-forall point. Scores of pedestrians, cyclists, and rickshaws coming from Jafrabad continue to cross the road even when the traffic light for straight-moving traffic is green. Though there are traffic policemen deployed at the intersection, they rarely intervene.

“It is simply bad planning. Despite the heavy movement of vehicles and pedestrians here, the government has built a single carriageway flyover that carries Shahdara-bound vehicular traffic coming from Shastri Park side. The traffic going in the other direction is obstructed by pedestrians and rickshaws. The government should have constructed a double lane flyover and should have also built and integrated cycle track and pedestrian facility to ensure seamless movement of traffic,” said Sharma.

A PWD official said plans are afoot to build another flyover that will run parallel to the existing one. “A consultant has been hired to suggest the design and how different types of traffic can be segregated. We are taking up this project on priority,” the official said.

Illegal parked auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws and mini and DTC buses picking and dropping passengers right in the middle of the road opposite Seelampur Mall as well as near Jafrabad on the road going in other direction also causes traffic jam. “We have taken up the issue of buses stopping in middle of the road with DTC officials several times. But nothing has been done,” a traffic police official said.



Share your comments here: