A day after he was stuck in a traffic jam for hours on the outskirts of Delhi, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari Tuesday vowed to ease congestion in the national capital region. Maintaining that poor design and mismanaged roads contributed to Delhi’s air pollution, Gadkari announced the constitution of a committee to oversee various projects undertaken by his ministry to curb congestion and pollution in Delhi. “The specifics of the committee and its composition will be announced soon,” said a source.
The minister also announced that work on the Eastern and Western peripheral highways would be expedited. “The work has been fast-tracked, but rising pollution and the depletion of air quality is a matter of concern for the central government as well. The highways were to be completed in three-and-a-half years but now a new deadline of 400 days has been set. We believe that construction of both the peripheral highways will reduce the traffic in Delhi by 40 per cent,” said Gadkari.
According to the minister, a reduction of commercial vehicles entering Delhi everyday contributed to the poor air quality and re-routing them around Delhi would help control air pollution. Gadkari also said that poor design and mismanaged roads contribute majorly to the growing congestion on city roads.
The minister said that an international agency would be involved to study the road designs of Delhi and submit its research and detailed analysis of Delhi’s traffic in a stipulated time period. “Take the example of the road from Dhaula Kuan to the airport. There is so much traffic. If we could build a tunnel that will lead straight to Shiv Moorti, it will reduce the traffic movement on that stretch drastically,” said the minister.
Sources said Gadkari was stuck in a traffic jam on the Mahipalpur-Gurgaon Expressway on Monday.
Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander said, “I sought a response from the DCP of South district over the traffic situation on Gurgaon-Mahipalpur road and Dwarka Flyover.”
Police attributed the heavy traffic to the many weddings being held in the area.
“There are hundreds of banquet halls in the vicinity and this is the wedding season. There has been heavy traffic along these routes and severe bottlenecks at Rajokri area as well … we can only regulate the traffic, but we can’t do anything about the volume of cars and increasing number of vehicles,” said Chander.