In Northeast Delhi, resolving snarls priority for all parties

In the North East Delhi parliamentary segment, which comprises the most densely populated neighbourhoods of the city, road decongestion has emerged as the crucial poll issue in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

All the three major political parties in the fray — the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress — are promising to address this issue by pledging to build elevated corridors, flyovers and improved roads.

The Pusta Road in Northeast Delhi is one for the most congested corridors in Delhi as it connects the capital with Uttar Pradesh border and the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE). The corridor is dotted with large number of unauthorised colonies and slum clusters on either side of the road, leading to traffic snarls most time of the day. Locals say that crawling traffic has been a major concern for them for years. The problem has aggravated with the opening of the EPE last year as the interstate vehicular load has increased manifold.

Delhi BJP chief and area MP Manoj Tiwari, who is one of the candidates shortlisted by BJP for the constituency, has been citing the recent foundation laying for the National Highway 709-B (Connecting Akshardham in Delhi to Saharanpur in UP) as his major achievement.

The 155-km corridor, approved by the Union transport ministry in January, will provide seamless connectivity between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Tiwari said that he had pursued the matter with ministry for two years and then got ₹4,405 crore sanctioned from the central government. “Road congestion is a major problem in north-east Delhi. There is a serious land issue in areas such as Geeta Colony and Khajuri Khas. The NH 709-B will help unclog these areas. It will ease the lives of residents,” he said.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to address the problem of traffic jams, Dilip Pandey, AAP’s candidate from the constituency, said AAP is also proposing for a signal-free elevated corridor from Bhajanpura to Bhopura border. “It will play a major role in easing traffic in the north-east specifically,” he said.

Pandey said that the AAP-led Delhi government party has already done a lot to decongest the city. “One of the major breakthroughs of our party was the construction of Signature Bridge, which is a blessing for commuters crossing parts of north-east Delhi every day. We will see more flyovers and corridors in the constituency soon,” he said

Congress’ prospective candidate from the constituency Jai Parkash Aggarwal, who had represented the north-east Delhi in the parliament between 2009 and 2014, said he will highlight the party’s work during the 15-year rule of the Congress party under Sheila Dikshit to address the problem of traffic. “We brought Delhi metro in the constituency during my tenure as the MP from there. We will work again to more relief to the residents from congestion,” he said. The formal announcement on Aggarwal’s name as Congress’ northeast candidate is still awaited.

Meanwhile, all three parties stake claim to the Signature Bridge—a project conceived by the Congress government in 2004 and completed under the AAP government in 2018.

The bridge, built to unclog northeast Delhi, was inaugurated in last November amid a political controversy between AAP and the BJP, when both parties tried to taking credit for it.

First Published:
Apr 16, 2019 07:05 IST

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