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Relief For Delhi-NCR Residents! Ashram Underpass to Open For Vehicular Movement After Missing 8 Deadlines | Key Things to Know

Ashram Underpass Finally Opens For Public: Good news for Delhi-NCR residents who commutes frequently to and from ITO and other parts of central Delhi as the much-awaited underpass at the busy Ashram Chowk is open for the public from today

Updated: April 24, 2022 8:23 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Surabhi Shaurya

Relief For Delhi-NCR Residents! Ashram Underpass to Open For Vehicular Movement After Missing 8 Deadlines | Key Things to Know
Delhi's Ashram underpass opens for traffic movement

New Delhi: After missing eight deadlines over a year, the much-awaited underpass at the busy Ashram crossing in south Delhi is all set to be opened to the public on Sunday. With the opening of the 410-meter long underpass,  commuters traveling to and from ITO and other parts of central Delhi will have a smooth ride through the busy Ashram crossing. For the unversed, the foundation stone for the underpass was laid by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 24, 2019, and it was to be completed in a year. The estimated cost of the project is said to be Rs 78 crore.

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Delhi Deputy CM and Public Works Department (PWD) minister Manish Sisodia is expected to open the underpass to the public in a formal ceremony at 11 AM. Besides, three AAP MLAs — Amanatullah Khan from Okhla, Atishi from Kalkaji and Praveen Kumar from Jangpura — will also be present at the inaugural ceremony.  Earlier on Friday, the passage was open for a trial run, but the traffic was closed on Saturday in the wake of the arrangements for the opening ceremony on April 24, Sunday.

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How 410-Metre Long Underpass Will Benefit Delhiites? 

Ashram Chowk is an important link between central and south Delhi and also with Faridabad. The junction connects the Mathura Road and the Ring Road (linking Lajpat Nagar-Sarai Kale Khan and the DND flyover) thus the underpass would benefit commuters passing through the busy Ashram crossing and ease their ride towards Sarita Vihar, Badarpur and Faridabad from ITO and vice versa.

According to data provided by the traffic police, around 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh vehicles cross the Ashram intersection every day during peak traffic hours.

Speaking to reporters, Vivek Dhankar, who regularly used the stretch to reach his office at ITO, said the traffic congestion was also visible because one side of the underpass is open. “It is good that the underpass is finally ready for use. People have suffered a lot in the last 2-3 years due to perennial traffic snarls at Ashram. Today the scene was slightly different as we could pass through the intersection smoothly. There was slight congestion at the end of the underpass towards Jangpura. We hope that the situation will improve after both sides of the underpass are opened,” Dhankar added.

Why The Project Was Delayed? 

After paying an inspection visit to the construction site of the underpass earlier last month, Sisodia said that the work was delayed due to the COVID-19 and the lockdown which was imposed time and again to curb the spread of the deadly disease. “Once the lockdown is imposed,  the work got stalled then it took time in speeding up the work.” The deadline was first extended to March 2021, then further pushed to June 30 that year, and to September 2021. It was again extended to December 2021 and then to March this year.

No Relief From Traffic Snarls

Since the work on the extension of the 1.5 kilometer Ashram flyover extension is underway, the intersection is expected to witness congestion, and traffic snarls on the main carriageway towards DNA and Sarai Kale Khan. The cost of the flyover extension is estimated to be around Rs 128 crores out of which Rs 87 crores have already been spent.  Citing COVID restrictions as the reason for the delay in the construction work of the flyover as well, Sisodia had stated, “The work of the ashram flyover has also been delayed and will be completed by August 2022. There are various deadlines for the Pragati Maidan underpass. Till May, most of the work will be done there.”

Traffic Advisory Issued

Earlier on Saturday, the Delhi Traffic Police issued an advisory, asking people to avoid the Ashram Underpass stretch till Sunday and use other routes.

An official statement said both carriageways of the Ashram Underpass (between New Friends Colony to Bhogal) would remain closed. In a tweet, the traffic police asserted that Ashram underpass will be closed to finish the remaining work at the underpass and the opening ceremony as well. “Traffic advisory Ashram underpass(both carriageways from New Friends Colony towards Bhogal and vice-versa)will be closed till 24/4/22. Due to finishing work and opening ceremony of Ashram underpass. Motorist are advised to plan their journey accordingly. Kindly avoid the stretch”, the Delhi traffic police tweeted.

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Published Date: April 24, 2022 8:05 AM IST

Updated Date: April 24, 2022 8:23 AM IST