Metro chaos heads South Delhi: Brace for major traffic jams at your favourite markets as DMRC work kickstarts

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Metro mess is again going to spoil your shopping plans. After negotiating huge traffic jams around Connaught Place because of Delhi Metro’s construction work at Janpath, visitors to Capital’s three other major markets must now brace themselves for further inconvenience for at least two more years.

As Delhi Metro Rail Corporation DMRC) begins work on five major stations -Bhikaji Cama Place, Sarojini Nagar, INA, Lajpat Nagar and Nizamuddin -as part of its phase III project, huge traffic jams are expected on the Capital’s vital thoroughfare, Ring Road, and main arterial roads that connect to it.

The actual work, including barricading and installation of machines, is going to begin from Monday.

The stretch is part of the Delhi Metro’s proposed corridor connecting Mukundpur with Shiv Vihar in phase III. Delhi traffic police have prepared diversion plans on all the five points, around which the officials have partially or completely halted traffic movement.

All the five stations will be underground.

According to an advisory issued by the police, diversions would hit Feroze Gandhi Marg, Barapullah to Aurbindo Marg, Africa Avenue to Ring Road, August Kranti Marg and Green Park, among other areas.

The five spots around which barricades have been set up till now include three major markets -Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and INA -an important commercial centre, Bhikaji Cama Place, and a prime transport hub, Sarai Kale Khan bus depot, and Nizamuddin railway station.

Traders in these markets say they already feel the effect of what they think would be a prolonged spell of poor business.

“Ever since advertisements and advisories by traffic police have been published, our sales have seen a remarkable dip. Even today being a Sunday when visitors fill up the entire Sarojini Nagar market, only a handful has come. They are scared of extended traffic jams and unavailability of parking space,” said Ashok Randhawa, president, Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Association.

Several shoppers to these markets have already felt the impact of never-ending construction work, as it happened in Janpath, where even regular goers dread to enter the area due to traffic diversions and parking chaos. TRADERSand their businesses aside, locals say even getting to their homes have become cumbersome.

Be it the residents of government flats at Sarojini Nagar or those of private accommodations at Lajpat Nagar, along with distances, commuting time has drastically increased.

“We are forced to walk a kilometre extra due to the ongoing Metro work. The service lane has been narrowed and vehicles can’t use it. DMRC’s marshals supposedly deployed by at these points to regulate traffic are hardly seen. Cars and motorcycles enter the service lane blocking it, leading to fights,” said Nakul Sharma, a resident of Lajpat Nagar.

Besides these five spots, Metro will also begin work on several other points on Ring Road from which an even greater problem of traffic jam may arise.

Important areas on Ring Road where Metro construction will take place include Azadpur, Shalimar Bagh, Netaji Subhash Place, Shakurpur, Punjabi Bagh West, Rajouri Garden, Mayapuri, Naraina Vihar, Delhi Cantt., Dhaula Kuan, Moti Bagh, Bhikaji Cama Place, South Extension and Srinivaspuri.

According to senior DMRC officials, traffic restrictions due to work on all five Metro stations is expected to hold firm until early 2015, after which traffic restrictions are likely to be eased.

Delhi Traffic Police have prepared diversion plans at five points, including three major markets -Sarojini Nagar, INA and Lajpat Nagar -around which traffic movement has been affected.


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