Though the Public Works Department’s ambitious project to de-congest the crowded ITO traffic intersection in the Capital has been made partially operational, traffic flow between Laxmi Nagar and ITO continues to involve a hugely round-about route.
While the PWD is hoping to open straight traffic from Laxmi Nagar to ITO this coming week after taking possession of the site from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the latter says it will be able to hand over the site to the PWD only by November-end.
The project’s completion has already been delayed by over six months causing a great deal of inconvenience to commuters because of the long, tedious traffic diversions put in place during the period of construction.
A senior PWD official said: “We have no problem in opening straight traffic on Vikas Marg between Laxmi Nagar and ITO but due to Delhi Metro’s ongoing works of installing railings on the Vikas Marg stretch that crosses over to Yamuna Bank metro railway station, motorists have to take a left turn diversion instead of heading straight.”
“The metro has cleared out of most of the area and we are hoping to open straight traffic flow this coming Monday. Straight traffic flow from ITO to Laxmi Nagar is already open,” he added.
Offering a different version, a Delhi Metro spokesperson said: “Officials working on the upcoming new Anand Vihar metro railway project are at present busy with the inauguration and public opening of the Noida line. Only when all of that is over we will be able to restart work on clearing the site in question. We expect to hand over the entire area back to the PWD only by November-end.”
The Rs. 73.7-crore project mainly envisages construction of four cloverleaves and an underpass below Vikas Marg through an eight-lane divided carriageway.
The PWD official said: “Three of the four cloverleaves as well as the carriageways for smooth traffic flow between Noida and Gandhi Nagar and between Geeta Colony and Noida have already been opened. The only cloverleaf remaining for connecting traffic from Gandhi Nagar to ITO would also be opened before the 20th of this month making the ITO Chungi completely signal-free.”
According to the PWD, the underpass would not only serve as an effective link between localities in East Delhi but also be an important link between East Delhi and the rest of the Capital in view of the Commonwealth Games and the location of the Games Village in East Delhi.