To control the expected increase in volume of traffic after completion of NH-24 widening work in 2018, Delhi government’s PWD is planning to revive its 2.5 km long tunnel project between NH-24 and Lodhi Road. According to a report by Times of India, because of the presence of monumental buildings, such as Subz Burj, Humayun’s Tomb, Chota Batasewala Mahal, Sunder Mahal, Bada Batasewala Mahal, etc, across the proposed alignment, the government body sent a proposal to the National Monuments Authority (NMA) to be approved.
The project was first proposed by PWD in 2006, but ASI denied permission because of the close proximity to monuments. “We submitted the proposal to NMA for approval in March this year. We are writing to them again as it is important for providing smooth access to traffic entering Delhi from NH-24,” a PWD official was quoted by Times of India.
A need for an alternate route was raised by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), which expressed its concerns to PWD, that completion of Delhi-Meerut expressway will increase the traffic volume by double on NH-24, according to the report. It further added that without an alternate route, traffic on NH-24 will get congested stuck between Ring Road and Bhairon Marg. “At present, the daily traffic volume is 80,000 passenger car units (PCU) which is likely to increase to more than 1.4 lakh PCU per day. We have informed PWD that the existing bifurcation of Ring Road is not sufficient for increase in traffic volume,” RP Singh, project director of NH-24, NHAI was quoted in the report by TOI.
Sarvagya Srivastava, engineer-in-chief, PWD, told TOI that the proposed route will reduce distance and travel time. As per PWD officials, the tunnel between NH-24 and Lodhi Road, will have ramps on either sides to allow vehicles to enter and exit in both directions from the tunnel. The officials further expressed hope that the project might get approval this time, with the government planning to amend AMSAR Amendment Act, 2016, which will allow construction of public projects near heritage sites, the report said.