Flyover repair set to throw traffic out of gear on Ring Road
New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Lakhs of commuters using Ring Road and its inter-connecting flyovers — right from Dhaula Kuan to AIIMS and further ahead, are set to face major traffic inconveniences as repair work is to begin on a section of the Bhikaji Cama Place flyover that has subsided. The repair work is to last about a month, during which the flyover will be shut down, a senior police officer said on Friday.
“In an unanimous decision taken at a meeting held with senior officers of Public Works Department, Traffic Police and DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation), it was decided to close the entire (Bhikaji Cama) flyover within a couple of days for vehicular movement in view of the repair work,” Special Commissioner (Traffic) Ajay Kashyap told IANS.
“The decision was taken on Thursday during a meeting with representatives of all the agencies to prevent any untoward mishap as the ramp of the Bhikaji flyover has developed a visible crack since the last few days,” Kashyap said.
The repair work has been given to DMRC by the PWD as the ramp came down due to the ongoing construction of an underground Metro Station, police said.
Kashyap blamed the PWD for “faulty engineering” as there are no other roads available to divert the traffic.
“We have no other roads to shift vehicular movements, no option to divert the traffic to other leading roads as it they are already packed with heavy volume of vehicular movement during peak hours. Thousands of commuters who daily use the flyover at Bhikaji Cama Place, will have to face major traffic inconvenience for a month during the repair work,” the Special Commissioner said.
Kashyap said that the repair would hit traffic movement on major roads — Vasant Kunj, Vasant Vihar, Munirka, AIIMS Circle, Dhaula Kaun, IGI-Airport Road, R.K. Puram, South Campus, Moti Bagh, Chanakyapuri, South Extension, Defence Colony, Lajpat Nagar, DND, Ashram Chowk, Mathura Road and other leading roads connecting to Bhikaji Cama Place.
Lakhs of motorists pass through the Bhikaji Cama overpass daily to go IGI Airport, AIIMS, Sarojni Nagar, Ashram, DND, Mathura Road, Lajpat Nagar, South Delhi and other leading roads, Chanakyapuri and other areas, police said.
He said that PWD has been asked to put out advertisements to notify the public about the proposed work and the inconvenience it is likely to cause.
A DMRC spokesperson told IANS that they have started the repair work from Friday evening and have not closed the flyover for traffic movement as yet.
On Tuesday, after the public outcry over the crack in the Bhikaji Cama flyover, the PWD issued a statement, terming the flyover as “completely safe for traffic movement”.
The statement said that the flyover, constructed in 2002, was damaged during construction of an underground Metro station by DMRC.
“For carrying out the repair work, a road area of 3.5 m breadth and 20 m length on the carriageway of the flyover towards Dhaula Kuan will be taken over by Delhi Metro,” a statement of DMRC said on Wednesday.
“Some portion of the road may be barricaded for machinery movement from time to time as per requirement. Adequate number of traffic marshals will also be deployed to guide the traffic. The work is expected to be completed by the end of February,” the statement said.
“Some portions of the flyover had caved-in slightly during the underground work done for the Bhikaji Cama Metro Station as part of the upcoming Pink Line. Those portions were reported to us as remaining water-logged mostly,” a DMRC official said earlier.
(Sanjeev Pal can be reached at email@example.com)