GURUGRAM: Crossing Chowk, one of the prominent junctions on Delhi-Gurugram Expressway (NH-8), is a daily pain that is driving thousands of office-goers to their wits’ end.
Hours-long drive through congested roads, just before and after daylong slogging in office, has become a regular struggle for people who come to work in Udyog Vihar and Cyber City — the city’s two major corporate hubs that collectively house over 3,000 offices and industrial units.
If a massive volume of cars is one of the major factors contributing to snarls during morning and evening rush hours, jaywalking, illegal parking and wrong-lane driving make the situation worse.
People, who cross the stretch daily, say Shankar Chowk is nothing less than a hell that slows them down every day to work and way back home. Every morning, commuters, coming from Iffco Chowk side, spend several anxious moments searching for right of way for taking a left turn towards Udyog Vihar. A similar ordeal awaits them when they try to come out of Udyog Vihar and take a left turn towards Delhi in the evening.
Likewise, those coming from Delhi run into a chaos near Shankar Chowk just before turning left to enter Cyber City and DLF areas.
“If you want to go to Udyog Vihar, you will get caught in a mess as traffic almost comes to a standstill here. And, if you are coming from Delhi and want to entre Cyber City, you will get stuck in jams on the other side of NH-8. Cars move at less than 10kmph at this junction, especially during rush hours,” said Vishal Kanwar, a resident of Sector 86, who works in Cyber City.
Usha Joshi, a Sector 30 resident, who works in Udyog Vihar, pointed out there was no designated bus stop or cab stand near the chowk. “One can see a large number of people standing all along the stretch from the chowk up to HSIIDC building. Cabs, private buses, shuttle cars and e-rickshaws make random halts on this stretch to drop off and pick up passengers, causing jams,” she explained.
Jaywalking, in the absence of any foot over-bridge, is another problem. “Hundreds of people, who work in Udyog Vihar, avail metro from Cyber City station. These people cross the highway at will, slowing down vehicular movement and increasing chances of accident,” said Nitika Lal, a resident of Suncity.
The Rapid Metro authorities had proposed a foot over-bridge there in 2015 but the plan is yet to take shape.
Commuters demand strict measures to clear up the entire stretch to ease traffic. “This chowk has become a bottleneck because the available road space has shrunk due to illegal parking and vendors. The authorities need to make it free of hawkers and cabbies,” Karan Rao, who works in Udyog Vihar phase 3, said.
Industrialists, on the other hand, said an underpass at Shankar Chowk would unclog the traffic. Col Raj Singla, president, Chamber of Industries of Udyog Vihar, said, “We have proposed an underpass at this junction. A straight underpass (for traffic going towards Delhi) would be ideal.”
A senior NHAI official said, “DLF and other agencies are working out plans to unclog Shankar Chowk. But they are still at a nascent stage.”
With no permanent solution in sight, commuters are unlikely to get any respite from anytime soon.
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