Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday inaugurated the Benito Juarez underpass here that will help commuters travelling from Delhi to Gurugram bypass traffic bottlenecks and save time and fuel.
Sisodia, who is also PWD minister of Delhi government said commute between Delhi and Gurugram will become easier for lakhs of people due to the tunnel that will also reduce fuel consumption by 2181 liters per day and lessen capital's daily carbon emissions by 5 tons.
"At Dhaula Kuan, the road leading to the airport and Sardar Patel Marg witness huge traffic during morning and evening peak hours and this underpass project was aimed at solving this problem," he said.
The tunnel is estimated to reduce traffic load at Dhaula Kuan intersection by at least 25 per cent, officials said. The total cost of the project comprising Delhi's first Y shape 1,200-metre-long tunnel and a 670-metre skywalk was Rs 143.78 crore, officials said.
Vehicles coming from the airport side from the underpass will get relief from the jam under Rao Tularam flyover on Ring Road. The skywalk will connect BJ Marg to South Campus Metro station and Satya Niketan Marg with a foot over bridge, they said.
The tunnel has been beautified with artwork on the walls and ceiling. It is covered from above road to prevent rain water from entering in. The officials said the underpass will also improve connectivity among the airport, Chanakyapuri and AIIMS.
"With the launch of the 1.2 kilometre Y-shaped underpass on Benito Juarez Marg, lakhs of commuters between Delhi and Gurugram will no longer have to deal with traffic jams on a daily basis.
"Considering the economic value of time, the underpass will save Rs 18 crore for Delhiites. Many congratulations everyone!" Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi.
The underpass saw the light of the day after missing eight deadlines. Commuters travelling to AIIMS, Chanakyapuri, Yashwant Place from the airport and Gurugram will now be able to bypass traffic bottlenecks at the Outer Ring Road, Dhaula Kuan, and Rao Tula Ram Marg by using this facility, the officials said.
The underpass starts near Delhi University's Sri Venkateshwara college and goes beneath the South Campus Metro Station on to the Ring Road. One of its arms opens on the San Martin Road while the other one on the Ring Road towards Moti Bagh, they said.
The newly constructed underpass is likely to save around eight to 10 minutes for commuters. According to officials, the project included construction of a three-lane underpass, near Venkateswara College in south Delhi connecting Benito Juarez Road with San Martin Road.
The dual access one-way underpass starts near Springdales School on Benito Juarez Road and passes under the South Campus Metro station on the Ring Road, they said.
One arm of the underpass goes to San Martin Road while the other will open on Ring Road towards Moti Bagh, they said. The work on the project had started in April 2015 and was to be completed in October 2017. It missed several deadlines due to slow pace of work owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
PWD officials said the project was initially delayed due to shifting of utilities, and the complex nature of construction work. Later, it was delayed by the construction bans imposed due to Covid lockdown, labour shortage and pollution restrictions, officials said.
The official said the latest deadline was May 2022. The facility aims to reduce travel time from the airport to central Delhi and AIIMS by 8-10 minutes.