NEW DELHI: Commuters using the Ashram intersection for movement between Noida, South Delhi and Ghaziabad can expect major traffic snarls over the next two months as the Ashram flyover is expected to be closed to complete the integration of the existing flyover with the Ashram extension flyover, people familiar with the matter said.
An official of Delhi’s public works department (PWD) said work on the Ashram extension flyover was in the final phase of integration for which traffic on the Ashram flyover needs to be temporarily stopped. “The exact date of closure has not yet been decided as Delhi traffic police will issue a detailed traffic advisory before initiating the restrictions but the closure will be carried out soon in consultation with DCP traffic,” the PWD official said.
A senior police officer confirmed that the southern range traffic police has issued its ‘No Objection Certificate’ for the integration.
Restrictions on movement of vehicles on the flyover are likely to further worsen traffic movement between Delhi and Noida-Ghaziabad, which was already impacted due to construction-related restrictions, potholes and the presence of construction vehicles along the Maharani Bagh stretch of the ring road.
A PWD official said the work to integrate the new stretch with the existing flyover cannot be carried out without stopping the movement of vehicles.
A senior Delhi traffic police official said: “The flyover won’t entirely be shut but traffic will be impacted, therefore, diversions are being planned accordingly”.
The ₹128.25 crore project is a six-lane, 1.42-km-long flyover that is being extended from the existing Ashram overpass to DND, with ramps for traffic from Sarai Kale Khan. Once the project is complete, it is expected to help make the 9-km stretch from Moolchand flyover till Noida’s Rajnigandha Chowk signal-free. A subway for pedestrians at the Maharani Bagh traffic light is also being built.
Earlier in August, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the PWD portfolio, announced that the Ashram extension flyover will be completed by November 2022. But this deadline was missed.
The construction of the flyover extension started in June 2020 after the project was approved by the Delhi cabinet but the work was stalled for a long time due to the closure of construction activities during the Covid-19 lockdown and later due to an increase in pollution levels.
“The initial permission from the traffic police to start construction also took almost a year, due to which, the pace of construction was reduced further,” a PWD official added