Friday, November 18, 2005

Pragati Maidan and Traffic

Pragati Maidan is a major bottleneck for traffic. If one lives in Noida (where I live) and wants to goto Central or West Delhi then Pragati Maidan is invariably part of your way and you live to regret the day this road was made; The Roadtrip to Hell. The situation is so bad sometimes that people have renamed it from Pragati Maidan to Durgati Maidan!!

The situation worsens considerably every year from 14th Nov to 28th Nov. when Pragati Maidan hosts the India International Trade Fair (IITF). Miles long traffic jams are a common sight, and that is not a pretty sight. The situation worsened so much last to last year that it was virtually impossible to cross the area during peak hours.

The traffic police woke up last year with a new metallic overhead bridge, better traffic management and better pedestrian management. And this year they have excelled beyond themselves. The traffic this year is much better. So much better that it is a pleasure to drive from there! There are various reasons to this;

1. Far better traffic management - Policemen every 10 meters to push forward any stationery vehicle. No stoppage means better movement
2. Heavy barricading so that pedestrians do not spill on to the roads
3. Overbridge to help pedestrians cross peacefully
4. Lots of parking areas that are located around the area than being concentrated in a single area.
5. Good shuttle services from parking areas.
6. No U-turn anywhere
7. Large ads in all newspapers to show all these arrangements.

But the biggest reason is that there is so much hullabaloo about the trade fair traffic situation that people voluntarily keep away from the area for the fear of traffic jams. I personally avoided the area on the first day of the IITF. But the other roads were so jam packed, it took me 45 minutes to cross 1.5 kms. But because everyone is keeping away from Pragati Maidan, that is actually a better place to go from!!! No traffic jams and no problems.

So in peak season, Pragati Maidan is my favourite route!!

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