With the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) shutting the stretch between Delhi’s Rangpuri and Rajokri to allow the construction of two underpasses linking NH-48 to the Dwarka Expressway, traffic flow has been severely affected. In fact, the consequence of this action, however, necessary it may have been is, that commuters were stuck for over two hours and this nightmare may continue for at least 90 days, the time it shall take to make these underpasses on one of the busiest Highways in the country. As it is, the construction of the Dwarka Expressway has also been a great impediment in the smooth flow of traffic and the scale of work which is in progress, has for the time being slowed down any kind of vehicular movement. True that once the project gets completed, it shall ease the way of life but the authorities need to be prepared for the impact of this construction on daily commuters and the traffic snarls do cause a lot of consumption of energy and manpower hours which are lost in the traffic jams. It has been a common practice that the lack of coordination between various government agencies often creates further complications. In the latest instance, when the commuters were stuck on NH-48 for long hours without prior warning, many of them ran out of fuel and the stalled cars added to the woes. Whenever such steps are taken, the deployment of the traffic police in the areas is essential to help in facilitating the flow of traffic. Nothing of this nature was done and the traffic police personnel continue to surprise motorists at various junctures by concealing themselves in order to challan the offending drivers. While prosecution of those who infringe traffic rules is justified, the emphasis should be equally on the movement of traffic. In South Delhi, due to the repair work being carried on the Chirag Delhi flyover, there is a massive jam every day and the traffic has spilled over to the Ashram Chowk, from where the mess up begins for those headed towards NOIDA. Anticipation of these problems should be taken into consideration whenever ambitious projects get launched. The multiplicity of authority and the clash in thinking of various government agencies leads to such problems. Now for instance, near the NH-48 snarl points, there are multiple banquet halls which organize wedding parties and receptions. They shall continue to book their parties where hundreds of cars also bring guests and thus affect the traffic flow. Till the construction of the two underpasses gets completed, these banquet halls should be granted permission by the local police and traffic authorities only if the holding of parties does not further affect the vehicular movement. Even where there is no construction work going on but there are traffic hold ups, the authorities must restrict the banquet halls from further adding to the commuters’ woes. No one is against them doing business but in the larger interest, certain matters have to be restrained. A lot of good work has been done by the NHAI but incomplete jobs pending at so many places are impeding the flow of traffic. For instance, there are many projects that are running behind schedule and the cost is escalating apart from causing hardships. On the Delhi Chandigarh highway, the delayed construction has badly affected people. These things must be looked into without any further delay. To begin with, the traffic police in Delhi must ensure that the traffic diversions caused by the decision of the NHAI, do not hamper free flow and thus impact the overall vehicular movement.
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