The gridlock at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad during peak hours continued Thursday with a serpentine queue extending from Ghazipur in the national Capital till Vaishali in Uttar Pradesh, as vehicles were stopped at the UP-Gate by the police to check for movement passes and IDs.
With traffic from at least three major routes converging at UP-Gate, the point has become a choke point as the police have erected barricades. To make matters worse, an alternative route at Kaushambi remains sealed, making UP-Gate the only way to enter or exit Ghaziabad.
With traffic restrictions in place at the Capital’s borders resulting in massive jams, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to come up with a movement plan for the national Capital region (NCR).
“Although the Supreme Court’s directions are in, it will take some time for relief to come through. Till then, thousands of commuters will continue to suffer at the UP-Gate border. It has become a major choke point as another Ghaziabad border point — Kaushambi — was shut and all vehicles from Mohan Nagar, Vasundhara and Vaishali are now converging at UP Gate. Further, traffic from the Hindon elevated road and NH-9 also converges here,” said Mohit Sharma, a resident Vaishali Sector 1. “Police should open the Kaushambi border which will divert much of the traffic away from UP Gate. What I suggest is that checking should be done at some distance and not right at the border. This causes slowdown of traffic and results in jams,” he added.
DUG UP ROAD ADDS TO MENACE
Traffic restrictions were first imposed at UP Gate from April 22 by the Ghaziabad authorities; these were tightened on May 37. Later, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced sealing the state’s borders for a week from June 1.
“A major issue which commuters on NH-9 face is a 200 metre of dug up road on the highway. This results in traffic restricting to a single lane which further goes to the underpass of the UP Gate flyover, which has been barricaded. Otherwise, daily commuters from Ghaziabad could have used it to bypass the underpass of the flyover,” said Kuldeep Saxena, a daily commuter from Indirapuram who goes to work at the Qutub Institutional Area in Delhi. “All this leads to a massive jam. It is generally observed when the cops see that there is heavy jam, they stop the checks and allow traffic to pass through,” he alleged.
Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), meanwhile, said that they are expected to take up repairs of dug up road stretch on the highway in another three days.
“The stretch was dug up as the expressway lanes and the highway lanes were not at the same level. This work will get over in another two-three days. But there are three lanes open. The cops have also closed down the flyover. So commuters are moving to the underpass of the flyover. There, all traffic converges into a single lane due to barricading, where checks are taken up by the police,” said Mudit Garg, deputy general manager of the NHAI.
CAN’T STRETCH RESOURCES FOR MORE CHECK POINTS
Ghaziabad traffic police, on the other hand, said they had to shut the Kaushambi border as they could not have stretched their resources by dividing them between two different points.
“If we open other borders, checking will become difficult. There is convergence of traffic from different sides at the UP Gate. Since there is rush especially during the peak hours, it causes jams when we start checking vehicles. As per government directions, we have to do this. During morning hours, Delhi Police also check vehicles,” said S N Singh, superintendent of police (traffic).
“Without barricading, checking becomes difficult.The barricades at the UP Gate flyover have been partially opened up. So, commuters on NH-9 can now use the flyover to go to Delhi.”
District magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said he will take up suggestions with the police and discuss how they can be implemented.
“We will discuss the suggestions with the police. We are also expecting some directions from the state government in light of the Supreme Court’s directive. So we are hoping that there will be improvement,” he added.
The NH-9 stretched from UP-Gate to Dasna and caters to about 80,000 passenger car units but NHAI officials estimate that traffic has reduced to about one-fourth during the lockdown period.
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