Ask hapless drivers, who’re sick of having to spend all their time and money on detours and petrol thanks to the never-ending Rapid Metro project and other construction work on Gurgaon roads
The Rapid Metro deadline has been extended again! The construction was scheduled to be completed by March and commercial operations were to start by April. However, the Metro won’t start operating before June, as per reports.
An effort to make public commute easy for Gurgaon residents, the step, till now, has only made it worse. It’s got with it dust, dirt, concrete, various diversions and long U-turns. While most of it is due to the Rapid Metro construction, there is some amount of trouble that other authorities can be blamed for. But the crux of the matter is, why must Gurgaonites suffer so much for some delayed comfort, and is the end result even going to be worth it?
Of missing trains and weddings
Lalit Suri, a businessman, says, “Around a month ago, I had to drop some guests to the railway station. I left my house and reached the Sikandarpur road in two minutes, but guess what? I was stuck at the same point for 20 minutes. There was a humongous, endless jam because of the diversion. I couldn’t believe it and neither could my guests. Seeing no sign of the jam clearing, we parked the car and took the Metro to the station. But we reached late and missed it by 10 minutes. My guests had to stay over till the next day. It was ridiculous!”
Nikhaar, a designer, who skipped her colleague’s reception, tells us, “It was my colleague’s reception and I left work a little early, went home, dressed up and left for the venue. After seeing the endless queue at the toll, I took a U-turn and left for south Delhi via Mehrauli. But once I reached Sikanderpur, I got stuck for a good 20 minutes there as well! I had already wasted about 40 minutes going to the toll and back, and now I was stuck again. I was so frustrated and tired by the end of it that I dropped the plan and went back home, which is in Phase 1, instead. That took me another 30 minutes.”
A health and emergency issue
Sanjeev Yadav, who sits at the front desk of Uma Sanjeevani hospital in DLF Phase 2, reveals, “Our ambulances have to take longer routes because all the main roads are jammed. Thanks to the experienced drivers who know multiple ways of getting to a place, things stay under control. But in critical situations, diversions and U-turns can be a major problem.”
OP Suri, a real estate professional, who is 57 years old, says, “I find it extremely difficult to cope up with this nuisance. It’s frustrating and it also affects my health. Every time I need to go somewhere close to DLF Phase 1, 2 or 3, I either get stuck at Bristol hotel or on Golf Course Road. People are honking and screaming at each other, it causes panic and mental pain.”
Whatte party pooper
Rahul*, marketing executive, says, “My house used to be the party place. My friends and I used to party every weekend. Thanks to the various diversions and U-turns, they don’t want to come over anymore. Half of them have gotten lost in Gurgaon and the other half has spent a bomb on just reaching my place because of the long routes and diversions. Now, we party at my place only once a month or something. I really hope the Rapid Metro is worth it.”
Radhika Mehra*, who works in cyber city, told us about how she and her friends or colleagues don’t go to party in Delhi anymore. She says, “To get to the toll from cyber city is a nightmare. Making cyber-city a one way junction was not the solution to traffic problems. The authorities should have come up with a better way out. Also, going to MG Road has become insanely difficult. First there’s the Sikanderpur jam to cross and then the Bristol U-turn.”
It’s expensive as hell!
Abhishek Bhatia, an architect, tells us, “As a part of my work, I have to keep going to DLF Phase 1 from Phase 2. It’s a nightmare! I get stuck on the Golf Course Road which has some mid-road construction going on. Thanks to all of that, I spend a bomb on petrol everyday. I have to cut down on other things just to be able to drive around in Gurgaon. Why is everything happening at the same time at the same place? This had to be planned in a better way!” Simpal Jindal, a toy library owner, reiterates, “The number of diversions and U-turns has only increased. It’s always chaotic and messy. Now, I have to take the pahaadi road to get to Global Business Park from DLF Phase 2, which is much longer. I end up wasting a lot of time and petrol. It’s terrible.”
Rabia, a senior risk analyst, adds, “It’s funny that I have a car but can’t drive and get to places that I want. Because of the diversions and U-turns, which have sprung up all over Gurgaon, I just prefer taking an auto now as I can’t remember the number of diversions, U-turns, long cuts and shortcuts. But guess what? The autowallahs know the condition, so even they demand extra money.” Meanwhile, Priyank Narain, an ad professional, is used to getting lost now. He says, “By the time I take a diversion or a U-turn, I forget where I am. To top it all, the jams make it harder to concentrate or remember which way to use.”
(Names changed on request)