Public Works Department (PWD) minister Atishi on Saturday inspected the ongoing repair work at the Chirag Delhi flyover and directed officials to complete the first phase of the work by March 31 — a week before the 25-day window estimated by PWD for the work. She also said that when the second phase of repairs on the flyover is undertaken, one lane will remain open for traffic on the IIT Delhi to Nehru Place carriageway to facilitate better traffic management.
Restriction on traffic movement on the flyover began from March 13, with the PWD shutting the Nehru Place to IIT Delhi carriageway for 25 days to repair expansion joints. The closure has triggered traffic snarls on the Outer Ring Road, with commuters facing a delay of 15-30 minutes daily since then.
Once the repairs on this carriageway are complete, as part of the second phase of the project, the opposite stretch will be shut.
After inspecting the site, Atishi said, “Given the requirement of the Chirag Delhi flyover, which is used by thousands of commuters every day, PWD is carrying out maintenance work on a war footing. On the suggestion of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, it has been decided that during the maintenance of the second part of the flyover, one of the two lanes will be open for traffic so that people do not have to struggle with jams.”
A senior Delhi Traffic Police officer said a meeting was held on Saturday, wherein a request regarding keeping one lane of the second carriageway open was discussed. The inspector of the local traffic circle welcomed the suggestion, the officer said, adding that it will help police manage the traffic situation in a better way. However, the inspector apprised that it is the PWD who has to take a call on the suggestion. The traffic police will put it in force if the PWD agrees to the demands of the residents, the officer said.
Atishi also told officials to complete the first phase of maintenance work by March 31, and directed Delhi Police officials to chalk out an alternate route plan for the convenience of the commuters.
In a written statement, the Delhi government said that complaints regarding traffic jams due to the ongoing work had reached the chief minister, who was personally monitoring the maintenance work. The government said that while PWD officials had estimated that it will take nearly 50 days to complete maintenance work, Atishi had asked officials to work at double the pace and complete work within a month. The minister will review the work progress on March 25.