Residents block expressway, halt traffic for two hours

Wednesday

Traffic came to a standstill for close to two hours on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway near Ambience Mall as residents living near the shopping arcade blocked vehicles on Wednesday morning.

They were protesting against the decision to close the left-turn from the expressway to the service lane — for cars coming from the Jaipur side — leading to the apartments near the mall.

This was done in accordance with a Punjab and Haryana High Court order to "discourage" U-turns and ease traffic chaos on the expressway. A narrow link road just before the Sirhaul toll plaza connects the service lane meant for the highrises with the expressway.

The protest triggered a 2-km snarl on both sides of the toll plaza. Toll operations were suspended from 10 am to 10.20 pm.

Soon after, heated arguments between the protesters and the commuters stuck in the snarl took place forcing the authorities to remove the barricades and allow the cars to enter the service lane near the mall.

It took the authorities almost two hours to get the traffic back on the rails.

HUDA administrator Praveen Kumar visited the site and ordered the removal of the barricades. "We will inform the court about the traffic movement when the barricades were there and after they were removed. We are getting the traffic movement videographed," he said.

Residents of the area alleged that the district administration was at fault for the traffic chaos. "If I have to drop our child at the school bus-stop on the Delhi side of the toll plaza, I have to pay toll and go all the way to Rajkori flyover. On my way back, I have to take a U-turn come to the plaza and pay again to get into the service lane. This is ridiculous. LPG cylinder vendors have stopped coming to our apartment because of circuitous route," a protester said.

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