Home Minister P C Chidambarams speech on the terrible traffic situation at the Gol Dak Khana roundabout might have brought it into focus,but a reality check by Newsline points out that on ground,things havent changed much.
Few traffic officers: Chidambaram had assured the Rajya Sabha that traffic police deployment at the roundabout would be increased from five to nine during daytime,especially during peak hours. Newsline visited the roundabout at 5.30 pm and found there were only three traffic police officers. Things have improved a little after a traffic light was installed at Kalibari Marg. However,hardly any vehicle stops at the zebra crossing, said Sunny Singh,who runs a flower shop at the roundabout.
Broken footpaths: Not only do pedestrians need to make a dash for their lives while crossing the road,footpaths in the area are in dire need of repairs.
I walk to pick up my grandchildren from school every day. Crossing the road is quite dangerous and you can trip any time walking on these footpaths, said 72-year-old Nand Lal.
No Solution on offer: There are five roads converging at this roundabout. None of them have a signal. Also,constructing a subway or foot overbridge is not possible here,as mentioned by Chidambaram.
The traffic police at present do not have solution at hand. We have increased police deployment and at the Kalibari signal we ensure that pedestrians are given 20 seconds at regular intervals to cross the road, said the District Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Suvashish Chaudhary. He added that signals on the radial road are not possible and the traffic has to be directed manually.
Longer waiting time for pedestrians: You have to keep aside at least 10 to 15 minutes just to cross the road the vehicular flow is so heavy, said staff nurse Sally John. She added that residents find it too risky to allow their children cross the junction alone.
Metro construction: Delhi Metros work on the airport line is further eating into the space available for pedestrians. With the carriageway of Baba Kharak Singh Marg leading to the Connaught Place roundabout being shut,all vehicles entering Baba Kharak Singh Marg are diverted towards Gole Market. Traffic police have also put up barricades in the area. Vehicles now take a sharp turn very close to the pedestrian path,say residents. You have to be alert even if you are walking on the edge of the road,with vehicles invading this space as well, said Saroj Kumar,a government official.