Heavy rain on Wednesday morning worsened the traffic situation on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and beyond, especially the Pink City Expressway or the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway 8, with vehicles getting stranded for hours in snarls that stretched for 2-3 kilometres.
Traffic crawled for the second day beyond the Kherki Dhaula toll plaza because of waterlogging and road cave-ins at different places. Many VVIPs, including ministers and Suzuki Motor chairman Osamu Suzuki, and ambulances were caught in the snarls for over six hours.
Traffic police lodged an FIR against the Pink City Expressway authorities, blaming them for poor maintenance of the highway and the subsequent congestion.
“The FIR was lodged at the Kherki Dhaula police station because the road has not been properly maintained and it had caved in at various points, leading to the huge traffic jams. The Pink City Expressway officials did not turn up on Wednesday and traffic personnel had to singlehandedly take care of the situation,” DCP (Traffic) Bharti Arora said.
The DCP and administration officials inspected the road before the FIR was lodged. They identified trouble spots such as Rampur Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk.
Pink City Expressway officials were not available for comment.
Sources said at least three loaded trucks were stuck in portions of the highway that have caved in because of the rain and waterlogging ahead of the Kherki Dhaula toll plaza.
Traffic near Sirhaul toll plaza has been affected, too. The Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL), the concessionaire, has been blamed for poor traffic management, while it countered the allegation by accusing the Rapid Metro of triggering congestions with road diversions.
Waterlogging Rampur Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk aggravated the situation. It took people hours to cross the toll plazas
As far as congestion at Sirhaul toll plaza was concerned, traffic officials said the matter was in court and suggestions have been given to the concessionaire.
Officials of the DGSCL said they were following the Punjab and Haryana High Court order on ensuring smooth movement of traffic on the expressway. “We have tried freeing two lanes and collecting toll by creating additional booths,” a DGSCL spokesperson said.
Sources said traffic police and waterlogging were also to be blamed for the chaos. They alleged that traffic police personnel were seen issuing “challans” by stopping vehicles in the middle of the road, thereby hampering movement of vehicles.
A total of 225.60 km of NH-8 is currently being broadened from four lanes to six lanes following a contract between the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the concessionaire. The highway will have service lanes on both sides.