By Nazia Jafri
Photo: Gragi

Imagine you have a serious heart ailment and you have to reach the Escorts (Heart Institute and Research Center) from Maharani Bagh or the Ring Road. A road of 3 kms which should not take more than 10 minutes to cover, can take upto half an hour during busy hours of the day. The reason–damaged roads, illegal parking and negligence of traffic officials. You might as well never reach the hospital alive. Such is the condition of the road leading to Escorts.

Gautam Khanna, a resident of Maharani Bagh, is vexed with the practice of illegal parking. He has put a sign of “no parking” outside his house. But who cares?
Often, he is not able to drive his car outside because lot many cars are parked along the gate of his residence.

For Hari Prakash , owner of Subhash Electricals at Maharani Bagh, it is a daily routine. “Initially I used to shout at those who parked their cars in front of my shop. I even tried complaining once but now I don’t bother about it,” he says.

Those who are responsible to solve these problems are no where to be seen. Ravinder Singh, the traffic policeman at Ashram Chowk, is not ready to accept that there are wrongly parked vehicles in the area. Despite seeing things with his own eyes he says, “That is not my area, I can’t help it. Sadak bhi to kharab hai hum kahan tak kare?” (We can’t help it when the condition of roads is poor).

Approach the officials with the list of complaints and the blame game starts.
The local corporator, Dharamveer Singh, says, “We are working on the conditions of the roads but it is not our responsibility. The onus lies with the traffic police.” He further adds: “Most of the roads are repaired but some parts are left as Delhi Jal Board has been digging the roads and has left it as it is. Anyone who digs the roads is responsible for repairing them.”

An attempt to confirm the allegation against Delhi Jal Board failed as no one answered the phone calls.

So where does the problem lie? For Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) of Delhi, Muktesh Chandra, it’s a multifaceted problem. “Role of civic agencies, master plan without any vision etc are among the various reasons for the mess. ”

And what about controlling the traffic in the city?

“Any new policies can only be initiated by the government. We will need stringent measures of all kinds a. If not today, then a couple of years later. But the traffic police can have no say on this as we are not the policy makers. Our duty is to catch the defaulters,” adds the ACP.

Those who are affected by these jams are least bothered. The guard at gate no. 5 of Maharani Bagh, Pramod Kushwaha, says, “Koi pakka nahi hai tow away zone ka, jab police ayegi tab hata lenge gadiyan.

Rajeev Roy, a young entrepreneur at New Friend’s Colony, gets annoyed due to long hours of traffic. But his own vehicle is parked under no parking zone. “I have some important work that’s why I am parking here. There are others who have parked here, why shouldn’t I park?” he defends.

This irresponsibility from all the shores makes these posh colonies a trouble point for commuters.