With the much-delayed Ashram chowk underpass being opened for traffic on Sunday, the focus has now shifted to the ongoing work at the extension of the Ashram flyover up to DND Flyway on the busy traffic intersection where commuters continue to face snarls.
According to a PWD official, the project is likely to be completed in September and around 35% civil work is pending. “All pillars have been erected and pier caps on top of the pillars are being installed. Twelve pier caps out of total of 27 are in place. In many cases, several pillars comprise of one pier and there are 29 pillars overall,” the official said.
PWD began work on the flyover extension in February last year, even as the agency was struggling to finish the underpass, adding to the pain of commuters who had to go through the intersection daily. Even after the opening of the underpass, traffic moving towards Noida and Sarai Kale Khan from Lajpat Nagar continue to face trouble at Ashram — Delhi’s busiest traffic intersection which is used by over 350,000 vehicles daily.
According to the plan, the existing Ashram flyover will be extended by constructing 1.4-km-long six lane elevated road which will touch down where DND starts. Near DND the elevated road will split into two wings — one towards the flyway and the other will go in the direction of Sarai Kale Khan. The flyover extension will further smoothen movement between South Delhi and Noida by making Lajpat Nagar to Noida Signal free. It is expected to cost ₹128 crores.
Experts on Monday said that PWD needs to undertake several measures at the Ashram intersection to smoothen the traffic movement.
S Velmurugan, chief scientist, traffic engineering and safety division, Central Road Research Institute, said the situation at the Ashram intersection will be relieved fully only when the flyover extension project is completed, and vehicles could move freely on all sides. He added that PWD also needs to improve the pedestrian infrastructure to prevent fatal accidents.
“The bus stop beyond the petrol pump needs to be relocated to its original location near CSIR apartments which had a proper bus bay. The intersection also had several table top crossing which were removed and need to be rebuilt. There is a kink in the underpass for which PWD will have to install solar steps and flexible median markers at the centre at a gap of every 9 metres,” he added.