Badarpur flyover in a jam
NEW DELHI: More than three years after the proposal was first mooted, the Badarpur flyover — to be a crucial link between Delhi and its satellite township of Faridabad — is stuck in procedural and political compulsions.
As a result, for the 24 lakh-odd residents of Faridabad, the nightmare at the Badarpur crossing, which sees a traffic load of more than one lakh vehicles daily, refuses to go away.
The crossing is an important gateway to the city — it is located on NH-2, which forms an important link between Delhi and Agra and even leads upto Maharashtra. And for residents of Faridabad, it is the only direct link to the capital.
With a heavy traffic load and widespread encroachments, the average waiting time at the crossing is 45 minutes which worsens at night because of the commercial traffic on NH-2. According to the residents, there are severe traffic jams at the crossing at all hours and there have been cases when women in labour being rushed to hospital have delivered while stuck in the jam.
There have been repeated attempts to remove encroachments from the main crossing to increase space for vehicles but to no avail.
Many of Faridabad’s upcoming industrial projects, including the proposed special economic zone, were planned with the flyover’s logistical ‘‘support’’ in mind. According to industries’ associations in Faridabad, though initially the cheap land acted as a magnet for prospective industrial ventures, the traffic bottleneck on the approach roads is deterring businessmen from venturing into the city.
Around 2004, National Highway Authority of India had first proposed a 4.4 km long elevated six-laned road between NTPC in Delhi and Sector 37 in Faridabad as a solution to the mess. The elevated road which will start right opposite the NTPC main gate, promises to ensure signal-free travel between the four major crossings of MB Road, Jethpur, Sarai Bypass and Sector 37.
A grade separator at the Badarpur crossing has been included in the plan to provide a link with Mehrauli-Badarpur Road. For local traffic, a two-laned service road with cycle tracks is also included in the plan. The whole project is supposed to come up on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.
About four months back, Union road transport and highways minister T R Baalu informed Parliament in reply to a question that work on the flyover would start in ‘‘three months’’. That deadline has been missed and the project according to senior NHAI officials is now awaiting clearance of the DDA technical committee.
Disgruntled residents have now formed a civil society forum, People for Faridabad (PPF), to take up various pending matters pertaining to the township, including the Badarpur flyover.
Said PFF president Dr N K Pandey, ‘‘This flyover is essential for us. We are planning to file an RTI application asking where exactly is the plan stalled and then move a PIL in Supreme Court to expedite its construction.’’
There seem to be more hurdles on the path of the flyover than meets the eye. According to senior Delhi government officials, there are more compelling reasons for the delay. The state government which was supposed to sign a state support agreement with Haryana government to facilitate the project is nowhere near doing so.
A very senior Delhi politician who owns property in the area has reportedly written to the state government asking them not to go ahead with the agreement.
Said a senior official, ‘‘The letter means that the government has to tread cautiously in the matter. Additionally, after the change of guard in UP, there are other political compulsions as well. The Taj Expressway, which is also essentially a Delhi-Agra link, is expected to lose traffic if the Badarpur flyover happens.’’ There is also speculation about a cartel of powerful businessmen from the area trying to scuttle the project.
Badarpur flyover in a jam-Delhi-Cities-The Times of India
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