NEW DELHI: The construction of the underpass at Ashram Chowk has disrupted traffic. Adding to the chaos now is the Delhi Jal Board pipe-laying work on the Bhogal Road. The traffic police have permitted DJB to carry out its work from 10pm to 6.30am till Saturday on the Ashram-to-Bhogal carriageway and till October 12 on the opposite carriageway.
To put this into effect, traffic officials announced that commercial vehicles and buses would be diverted from CRRI to Modi Mill flyover, from where they can take a U-turn below Kalkaji Mandir flyover to access Captain Gaur Marg and then Ring Road towards Ashram flyover.
A traffic official said that the state government suggested closing the stretch completely for a week, but this was turned down because it wasn’t a viable traffic management option. “In case DJB is unable to complete its work in the stipulated time and seeks an extension, we might consider it but we insist the agency wrap up the work quickly,” said an official. “The Bhogal flyover requires repairs and PWD is having a hard time because of the DJB project.”
According to traffic department estimates, around 20% of the estimated five lakh vehicles crossing Ashram either come from or head to Bhogal. The stretch is also used by people accessing the Nizamuddin railway station from south Delhi.
As it is, the construction of the Ashram underpass is already hampering smooth traffic movement either way. A 175-metre access ramp is being built on either side of the intersection, and the roughly 20-metre-wide section in the direction of Bhogal has reduced the existing road to a third of its width.
Commuters are continuing to suffer the traffic hassle at Ashram, with some of them telling TOI of their reluctance to use Delhi Metro for fear of Covid-19 infection. “The traffic situation is horrible here and we still run late no matter how much extra travel time we budget for,” said Karan Awasthi, a regular on the route. “The traffic police have suggested another route, but since half the vehicles are already headed to Barapullah side, it’s not like the situation is any better on that route.”
Ravinder Yadav remonstrated, “Why start a project at such a congested point? I leave home one hour earlier than what I used to, but with so much traffic and air and noise pollution, I am stressed out by the time I reach my office. This project has made life miserable for commuters.”

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