A project spanning stretches of six major roads touching the ITO intersection has been taken up by the Delhi government to decongest and redesign the junction, where long traffic jams are a regular feature.
To begin with, a five-month feasibility study is set to be launched to prepare a roadmap of the proposed changes in road design, carry out surveys to find out the volume of fast and slow moving vehicles, their origin and destination, and pedestrian count, among others.
While attempts have been made in the past, including in 2003 by the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, to find ways to decongest the junction, the fresh initiative has come a month after the Delhi Traffic Police wrote to the state Public Works Department asking it to conduct a study of the stretch.
Traffic from six major stretches — Mathura Road, Tilak Marg, Sikandra Road, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and Indraprastha Marg — passes through the ITO intersection, where a skywalk had come up in 2018 to prevent jaywalking and smoothen traffic flow.
However, the skywalk, which came up at a cost of over Rs 50 crore, has found fewer takers than expected. The area is home to the Supreme Court, police headquarters, income tax office and many Delhi government departments. As per estimates of the traffic police, around 4 lakh vehicles use the junction daily.
The document detailing the scope of the study says it should provide a “comprehensive solution” that addresses the needs of vehicles, ensures safe movement of pedestrians and seamless traffic flow at the junction.
“There will be a traffic volume count survey for all categories of fast and slow vehicles spanning two days. The survey on origin and destination of all modes of vehicles and pedestrians will be carried out over three days. The study will incorporate future proposals of Metro and bus rapid transit stretches,” a senior official said. Efforts will be made to carry out a road inventory study under which all physical features, including shops, legal and illegal parking spots will be identified. Subsequently, sites for on- and off-street parking will be marked, along with design of signages and road markings.
“The study will touch upon details of every component including main carriageways, footpaths, service roads, street furniture, street lighting, bus stops, public amenities, drainage and landscaping,” the official said.
As part of efforts to decongest areas such as ITO, Pragati Maidan and India Gate, the PWD is already constructing a 1.2-km-long tunnel along with six underpasses to bypass vehicles coming in from East Delhi and Noida to reach Central Delhi. The tunnel will go beneath Pragati Maidan, which is also under renovation.
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