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Get ready for 24-hr gridlock in Common Wealth Games run-up

Add comment June 15th, 2010

The traffic gridlock you face on the way to work and back home every day, well, it just got worse several times over.

Starting this month-end or early next, Delhi Traffic Police will begin blocking one lane of several carriageways across the city to test a traffic plan that will be in force during the Commonwealth Games in October. The restrictions will be in place for all 24 hours of the day.

Almost all of the roads along the 170-km stretch, beginning from East Delhi and leading up to the airport, will have one lane reserved for Commonwealth Games competitors and authorities. These roads, located in South, Central and East Delhi, will connect to all competing and training venues.

Traffic police expect jams on these following roads, among others: Parade Road, National Highway-8, Safdarjang Road, Kemal Ataturk Marg, Aurobindo Marg, Lodhi Road, Ring Road, National Highway-24, DND flyover, Captain Gaur Marg and stretches of Outer Ring Road. “We are only waiting for the lane markings in green to be done, and we will start the trials soon after,” a police official said.

The pilot project will most likely begin at the end of this month at Vinay Marg near Ashoka Hotel at Chanakyapuri.

As part of the dry run, traffic police will start blocking one lane on these roads in phases.

Ajay Chadha, special police commissioner, said the lanes will be out of bounds for commuters throughout the day, and that traffic police personnel will be deployed to ensure commuters don’t enter these lanes, which will be painted green.

He admitted people will face problems. “We know managing traffic will be a challenge,” he said, “but we’ll do our best to educate commuters so that traffic moves smoothly.” Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said traffic authorities will try their best to ensure traffic is not disrupted but added that trial runs were unavoidable as a lane had to be reserved for athletes during the Games.

“There is no doubt that Delhi’s roads have huge traffic.

But if traffic restrictions are managed well they’ll help in improving vehicular movement,” she said. ” It’s all about enforcing the rules. Trial runs will be carried out till authorities achieve some degree of confidence in the traffic plan.” But Dr P. K. Sarkar, professor of transport planning at the School of Planning and Architecture, is certain that city traffic will turn chaotic as a result of these trials.

“There is bound to be chaos,” he said. “What else would you expect if a lane lies unused on a major road?” He warned that if Delhi Traffic Police does not plan the closures well, it could create a ripple effect on other roads.

“People will try to avoid blocked roads and take other routes. As a result there will be traffic jams on several roads.” Traffic officials have decided to put up bollards on several roads where it is not possible to post traffic constables.

“This will physically keep commuters away,” an officer said. He said there is no formal timeframe for the trial run.

“It could continue right up to and certainly during the Commonwealth Games.” Rohit Baluja, president, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), said: “Such traffic schemes have to be planned much in advance so that agencies have time to implement it.

There seems to be lack of planning here. Every agency does its work and there is hardly any coordination between them.” But that does not seem to bother the police. Chadha said if commuters don’t follow the trial route, police officials could invoke Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that makes flouting the rule an offence.

“Managing traffic would be like a challenge and it would be the last option. After this, the vehicle can be seized,” Chadha said. He said there would be signage all over the city to ensure commuters find their way easily. We will also use the media effectively to educate commuters about the diversions.” Sources said the traffic plans were prepared in consultation with the Delhi Police, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, and the MCD, PWD and the NDMC. The decision to reserve a lane was taken at a high- level meeting convened by Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna.

‘Levy Congestion Tax’: Union urban development minister Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday suggested that states levy congestion tax on private vehicle users.

This would discourage their use, reduce carbon emissions and smoothen traffic.

Heavy congestion tax, as it is levied in some of the busiest cities abroad, intends to discourage motorists from visiting some of the congested areas and instead force them to use public transport. Taxes are also levied on new vehicles.

Delhi Traffic police to train 1000 volunteers for Games

Add comment June 15th, 2010

Even as a date is yet to be fixed for commencement of trial runs for the dedicated Games lanes civic agencies are yet to complete marking the special lane on roads the traffic police have started enrolling volunteers to help with traffic management during the sporting extravaganza. The plan is to rope in about 1,000 volunteers, train them and post them on major roads during the Games. With the Intelligent Traffic Signals (ITS) scheme not taking off, the traffic police have also sent a request for additional manpower from the total pool of Delhi Police.

The cops are also pushing for legislation for the Commonwealth Games. ‘‘We have sought harsh penalties for those entering the Games lanes. Such vehicles would have to pay hefty fines and could also face seizure of vehicles if the legislation is approved by the government. If not, we can book the drivers under section 144 of Indian Penal Code under which they would have to face arrest,’’ said Ajay Chadha, special commissioner of police (traffic).

In the next three months, the emphasis is going to be more on regulation than prosecution. The focus of the traffic police will be on offences like lane driving both Games lane and general lane discipline, enforcement of Right of Way (RoW) on major roads, roundabouts and intersections without signals and safety of pedestrians.

On Friday, the traffic police also launched the volunteer programme on their website where interested Delhiites can fill up an online form to enroll for the programme. ‘‘The scheme is voluntary. There is no payment or meal allowance. The volunteers will be trained and expected to help with traffic management for about three hours daily at an area near their residence. They won’t have powers to prosecute but their complaints will be followed up by our staff. At the end of the programme, volunteers will be given an experience certificate,’’ Chadha added. The Delhi Traffic Police link on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter are also being activated to get people participation in traffic management before the Games.

MG Road to close at night for 40 days

Add comment May 29th, 2009

NEW DELHI: One of the major access roads to Gurgaon MG Road will remain closed for traffic at night for 40 days starting Saturday to facilitate construction of the Delhi Metro line to the satellite township.

“The diversions will be put into effect on both sides of the road from Manglapuri crossing (near phoolwali mandi) till Aya Nagar More from 12 pm to 6 am. The special work is expected to be completed by July 9 when the flow of traffic will be normalised,” said a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) spokesperson, adding that the movement of traffic will remain normal on the stretch from 6 am to midnight.

The road is being closed to speed up construction of the elevated Metro viaduct leading to the under-construction maintenance depot at Sultanpur, which is located just off the main MG Road. An elevated platform is being constructed between the pillars already erected on both sides of the road on which three sets of tracks with cross-overs are required for a distance of about 850 metres to enable trains to enter and exit the depot through a separate set of tracks. The normal elevated Metro structures are designed for just two sets of tracks.

For this, the distance between the two sets of pillars 36 on each side will first be joined using steel beams. To add support, precast concrete stabs will be placed on the structure, perpendicular to the steel beams. “The steel beams and concrete slabs will be brought to the site on trailers and lifted to the elevated structure using special cranes. This is not possible without closing the road below,” the spokesperson added. Each of the steel beams is 21-23 metres in length and 50 tonnes in weight.

As an alternative routes, those commuting between Delhi and Gurgaon can take a left turn on Gadaipur Mandi road and turn right on Gurgaon Faridabad Road to hit MG Road after the Delhi Gurgaon border. This route, however, can only be used by small cars and two wheelers. All the commercial traffic using MG Road at night will be diverted to National Highway-8 (Delhi-Gurgaon expressway) or alternatively Gurgaon Faridabad Road and Mathura Road to reach Delhi at the Ashram crossing.

The DMRC is deploying an adequate number of traffic marshalls on the stretch to guide vehicles about the diversion and are also putting up signages on all the major intersections on the way to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

10 people run over in 2 incidents

Add comment May 29th, 2009

Delhi/NCR: At least 10 people, including two minors and three policemen, were killed in separate incidents reported from the national capital region since Wednesday midnight. While seven persons, including three policemen, were killed on Noida-Greater Noida Expressway when a container ran over them, three persons, including two minors, sleeping on pavement were killed when a “drunk” accountant ran his car over them at Kesha-vpuram in northwest Delhi.

In the bizarre incident at Greater Noida, the container ran over 18 people, killing seven of them on the spot, around Wednesday midnight. Those who died were identified as head constable Krishna Kumar Tyagi and home guards Ashok Kumar and Sanjay. The other four were identified as Mukesh, Vakil, Pramod and Netram Singh.

The Noida police said a tractor, going from Greater Noida towards Noida, had turned turtle on the expressway near Sector 134 of Greater Noida as one of its wheels had come off. Police officials deployed rescue team to clear the expressway and a crane had also been summoned to take the vehicle to a safe bay.

The container, carrying vehicles of Honda automobile company, which was destined for Pune hit the crane, the tractor and also ran over people involved in rescue work. The injured were taken to Vinayak and Prakash hospitals in Noida. The condition of one of them reported to be critical.

The police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving and has launched a hunt for driver and the helper who managed to escape from the spot.

At Keshavpuram, an accountant, allegedly in an inebriated state, ran over six persons sleeping on pavement around 1.15 am.

The police said Naveen, who was returning to his home after attending a wedding function in Gurgaon, could not negotiate a turn near Kanhaiya Nagar Metro station in Keshavpuram and ran over Chanderpal (50), his son Deepak (8), Lala Ram (46) and his sons Guddu (12), Jitender (9) and Harender (12) sleeping outside their hutment.

Alerted by the cries of the victims, area residents gathered there and rushed them to Mahavir hospital where Guddu and Deepak were declared brought dead. Chanderpal succumbed to his injuries on Thursday. The condition of Lala Ram was reported to be critical.

Naveen was allegedly trying to escape following the incident but was caught by the residents and handed over to the police. He has been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Delhi to observe Safe Pedestrians Week

Add comment May 29th, 2009

New Delhi: As half of the road accident victims are pedestrians, Delhi Police will launch a Safe Pedestrians Week from June 1 to create awareness among people and motorists to be responsible road users.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) S.N. Srivastava said majority of the fatalities happen to pedestrians.

“There were 2,088 deaths due to road accidents in 2008 and the number of pedestrians among them was 1,075, which is 51.48 percent of the total fatalities. The picture is almost the same this year also as 781 persons died due to accidents up to May 15, and 398 of them were pedestrians,” Srivastava told reporters here.

As pedestrians are “soft targets” in road accident, it is all the more necessary to educate road users, stressing the safety of the pedestrians, he said.

“Traffic police in coordination with the local police will try to educate pedestrians and motorists that by observing the simple safety tips number of injuries and fatalities involving pedestrian can be reduced remarkably,” the officer added.

Srivastava said the most important safety tip to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities is to pay attention.

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