How Delhi PWD botched-up with the Flyover at intersection of Outer Ring Road & Rao Tula Ram (RTR) Marg

The website of the Public Works Department (PWD) of the Delhi Government proudly highlights the following on its website: "PWD, Govt of Delhi is using State-of-the-Art technologies for its flyover projects to minimize construction activity at busy intersections and to have better control on the quality of the works. For the first time in the country, PWD, Govt. of Delhi has introduced Q-4 standards according to IRC:SP-47 standards on these flyovers. These standards are equivalent to ISO-9002."
Pic-1: PWD website highlights model of a proposed new intersection flyover
(source: Delhi PWD website)
It then goes on to list the details of the Flyovers, Rail-over-bridges (ROB), Underpasses, Cloverleaves, Interchanges and Elevated corridors that are under progress as well as are planned to be started under its flagship.

Despite of of having provided a slew of such flyovers and related infrastructure to Delhi, the Delhi Government and the PWD came under heavy fire recently.

The bone of contention here is the one-way flyover that PWD constructed at the stretch of the outer ring road where Rao Tula Ram (RTR) Marg intersects it. The outer ring road witnesses major traffic going up and down the Indira Gandhi International airport, Gurgaon and places connected with Dhaula Kuan as well.

As 'The Pioneer' reported sometime during Jun' 11 in their e-article titled-- 'One bad decision, endless traffic woes on Outer Ring Road' -- "A two-way, six-lane flyover here would have ensured traffic moved seamlessly both on Outer Ring Road and from Rao Tula Ram Marg. But thanks to their wisdom, only a one-way flyover was constructed. Short-sighted town planners did not foresee that uninterrupted traffic flow from Kalkaji and Nehru Place through Panchsheel Park would lead to a pile-up wherever it confronted a traffic signal. The mindless decision to build a one-way flyover has not only demolished the concept of signal-free Outer Ring Road, but also resulted in a huge problem for Vasant Vihar residents who are now forced to use the U-turn under the flyover and face long delays at the signal."

The Times of India (TOI) also cited the April 2009 report of Central Road Research Institute (CRRI)- the premier agency for design, maintenance and construction of road infrastructure in the country- mentioning that only a two-way, six-lane flyover was justified at this intersection. Despite this, it seems the PWD came under influence of the hi-fi and well-connected people having certain real-estate pertaining interest in the area, and ultimately botched-up the entire plan only to construct single-way flyover enabling it to be utilized by commuters from one side only. The city traffic police since then have tried utilizing the flyover using traffic flow on either side, and lately, allowing two-way traffic also on the flyover by putting up temporary road partition dummies, but to no avail.
Pic-2: Two-way traffic allowed temporarily may invite serious accidents
(source: TOI website)
TOI reports that-- to compound the flaws in the flyover's design, other related infrastructure projects — nine subways and four underpasses — that would have eased the pressure on the flyover were inexplicably scrapped, leaving both drivers and pedestrians to suffer.

BRICKS-n-MORTAR Edesk's viewpoint

Clearly and evidently, the Delhi Public Works Department has made a big mistake by not following the CRRI's two-way six-lane flyover recommendation over this stretch.

Pic-3: Location map (source: Google maps)
The present half-hearted effort of the Delhi Traffic Police of allowing both side traffic to use the flyover in two divided temporary lanes also does not serve the purpose. In fact, allowing two-way traffic using temporarily means may invite major accident(s) atop the flyover since the PVC / concrete lane dividers are put in place at the starting portions on either side of the flyover only, while there is only a virtual bifurcating line on the rest of the flyover, which is extremely risky for the vehicles that tend to overtake without realizing the danger of another speeding vehicle coming right from the opposite direction at the same moment.

The only visible way to somehow cater to the problem would ideally have been to demolish this flyover and then construct a two-way six-lane flyover, just like the other flyovers on the outer ring road (except the Savitri flyover as a matter of fact, which is also a one-way flyover). But this not being economically and wisely feasible, extending the width of the flyover in both the ditections by constructing one lane each on either side and thereby re-bifurcating the entire new available width in two-ways could only bring about any worthwhile solution to the problem. However, technical feasibility of such an option shall have to be analyzed and respective technical measures should be adopted in constructing it thereafter.

Pic-4: Satellite image showing RTR Flyover (source: Google Earth)

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