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Ramesh Kumar,a vendor at Mukarba Chowk intersection,is a worried man these days. Having earned his living by selling peanuts at the intersection for years now...

Written by Sobhana K | New Delhi |
February 15, 2009 12:47:08 am

MUKARBA CHOWK Connecting NH-1,Outer Ring Road from Rohini to ISBT

Ramesh Kumar,a vendor at Mukarba Chowk intersection,is a worried man these days. Having earned his living by selling peanuts at the intersection for years now,he will have to look for another location in a couple of weeks’ time,as the Mukarba Chowk grade separator finally opens for traffic.

But the Capital’s motorists will heave a sigh of relief. Easily among the Capital’s busiest,the intersection sees peak-hour traffic of over 20,000 vehicles in an hour between 7.15 and 8.15 pm,with a minimum waiting time of 5 minutes that could extend to over an hour at peak time. Mukarba Chowk caters to traffic from Haryana,Punjab,Jammu and Kashmir and several Outer Delhi areas.

The work is expected to get over by February 22,and Delhi’s PWD minister Rajkumar Chauhan said the grade separator would be open for traffic “by the end of this month”.

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Spread on more than 3 lakh square meters,work on the grade separator began on October 12,2006 with a budget of Rs 195 crore. Among its unique features are a composite subway with cycle tracks and bus bays on top of the flyover. To remove any conflict of traffic,it has four slip roads that will serve for traffic going left and four cloverleaf flyovers for rightward traffic.

On the menu: bus bays,cycle track

Work is going on at present to create pedestrian facilities. Since many inter-state buses pass through the intersection,two separate bus bays have been constructed on both carriageways of the flyover. Each bus bay is 5.5 metres wide,and will not eat into the four-lane carriage space.

When Newsline visited the site on Friday,workers were laying interlocking tiles on the bus bays; signages were also still being fitted.

Commuters can access the bus bay through ramps and stairs that connect to the subway downstairs. Work on these ramps and stairs is also on. “We have a provision for escalators but they have not yet been put up,” the engineer said.

Downstairs,in the subway,workers were busy putting up lights and fixing black tiles on the walls. The subway has provision for both pedestrians and cyclists: the 2.5-km cycle track leading out from all sides of the grade separator converges at the subway. It has designer electric poles which,unlike traditional poles fixed on the centre of the road,are fitted to the side railing.

Right site: from landfill to beautiful

Two sanitary landfill areas (used by municipality to dump waste) flank the road leading to Karnal. While the MCD still uses one,the second landfill site towards the northwest of Mukarba Chowk was abandoned in 2007. In use since 1992,it has 2.79 million metric tonnes of waste on it.

But the PWD has been asked to convert the landfill area into a landscaped garden — the Cabinet recently sanctioned Rs 4.75 crore for the project. At present special cocoa fibre is being brought in from Bangalore and laid on the site. It will be filled with mud and grass would be planted; the cocoa fibre sheet will eventually degenerate. The other problem is methane gas. “Methane clouds surround us even as we plant trees on the landfill,” the engineer said. Five firms have shown interest at being appointed consultants for the beautification project.

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