Before the Delhi Metro came into being, there was no other option but different kinds of road transport in Delhi. Apart from the old Delhi districts, Delhi is largely well designed with broad roads and a very good density of road network. The making of new roads and their maintenance is the responsibility of various bodies such as MCD or Municipal Corporation of Delhi, NDMC or New Delhi Municipal Corporation, PWD or Public Works department, DCB or Delhi Cantonment Board and DDA or Delhi Development Authority. The density of roads in Delhi is the highest in India with 1749 kms of roads per 100 square kms.
There are 5 national Highways that originate or pass through Delhi connecting the city to almost all parts of India and providing transportation for goods and people. They are NH1, NH8, NH2 and NH10. From historic times, Delhi has seen the development of highways and the Grand Trunk Route built by Sher Shah Suri of which NH2 and NH 91 are a part is a good example.
Within the city the Delhi roadways are well laid out. The Ring Road and Outer Ring Road which are concentric circles traverse the entire periphery and middle of the gigantic spread of the city. In Lutyens Delhi the roads are wide, tree lined and well maintained by the civic bodies in charge of their maintenance. The Raj Path, Jan Path, Shah Jehan Road, Ashok Road, Parliament Street and the radial roads from Connaught Place now called Rajeev Chowk are examples of beautiful promenades. The total length of roads in Delhi is more than 28508 kms that also includes about 400 kms of National Highways
Delhi is circular as Mumbai is linear and the two main Ring Roads; Ring Road that encircles the city through the middle and the Outer Ring Road that was meant to circumvent the periphery of the city. However due to the rampant growth of the city, the Outer Ring Road is no longer on the periphery of the city. Now there is plan of building another Outermost Ring Road further on the circumference. The length of both the Ring Roads together is 87 kms which is about 54 miles. There are two more less important Ring Roads in Delhi called the Rural Ring Road that runs through the rural villages on the outskirts of North-West Delhi and the West Delhi Ring Road that goes around West Delhi region alone.
Inner Ring Road
The main Ring Road is the inner ring road that can be considered as the most important artery connecting important parts of Delhi scattered in different directions. It could even be called the important state highway of Delhi. It is the most used road of Delhi which is 51 Kms long and has more than 25 flyovers built to make traffic smooth and free of traffic lights. Presently due to the ongoing construction of the Metro Line along the road there are bottle necks and snarls in the traffic. Once the Metro Line is operative, the ring Road will again be the wide eight- laned road with heavy but smooth traffic. The present capacity of the Ring Road is 1100000 cars and other vehicles per day.
Outer Ring Road
The Outer Ring Road which is parallel and concentric to the Ring road is the other important road of Delhi. When it was built it touched the outermost areas of Delhi and hence the name “Outer Ring road”. Until the early 2000s when Delhi experienced expansion from all sides this road was hardly used and not very well maintained. Now, however, it is one of the most important roads that is well maintained and connects faraway places in Delhi and is also experiencing traffic jams. This is also a wide road consisting of 6 to 8 lanes and underpaths and flyovers have been built and are under construction to make the traffic smooth and free of traffic lights.
Expressways & Highways
Expressways and Highways are well developed in Delhi with 5 major National Highways passing through or originating from the city. The five major national highways that pass through Delhi are NH 1, NH 2, NH 8, NH 10 and NH 24. There are also three expressways to neighboring towns and cities that make travel easy and faster. The Gurgaon Delhi Expressway, the DND to Noida, the Greater Noida Expressway and Yamuna Expressway to Agra are examples of these. All the highways and expressways are well maintained and have modern facilities.
Greater Noida Expressway is between Noida and Greater Noida. Since Greater Noida is being developed as the next satellite town that is well planned and promises to be the financial hub in the near future with a brand new international airport, this expressway is expected to be the life-line of Greater Noida in the next decade.
The construction work for 135.6-km long Delhi Western Peripheral Expressway, also known as the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway (KMP), is going on at full swing. Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway expected to become operational by June 2009; Delhi will be relieved of the congestion of heavy night traffic. It will act as a bypass for the night vehicles. Ghaziabad - Faridabad - Gurgaon Expressway is a bypass corridor for traffic coming from South West and going towards East. It is currently under construction. Faridabad Road is a four-lane highway road which connects Faridabad, major suburb to Delhi. Upgrades to expressway are underway.
Ghaziabad Road is a four-lane highway road which connects Ghaziabad to Delhi. As the Commonwealth Village is located close by Yamuna Bridge on this highway, underpasses and flyover being built will help facilitate traffic between the eastern areas of Delhi/Western UP and the rest of the city. If the underpass, flyovers, and bridges are constructed in time, they might be extended to Ghaziabad.
Major Roads in Delhi
The beautiful Lodhi Road in New Delhi is named after the Lodhi Kings that ruled India before the Mughals came. The immensely gorgeous Lodhi Gardens is also found on this road. Delhi is full of remnants of the many important historic events that happened here. The mausoleums of the great Mughal Emperor Humayun and that of Safdarjung, the subedar Nawab of Oudh are located on either ends of this road. There are many cultural, educational, and international institutions such as India Habitat Centre, India International Centre, Islamic Centre etc are located on either side of the road. Built during the British Rule are the Lodhi colony and Lodhi Estate which house Government offices and residences. The Lodhi Road Institutional Area has many important Office complexes.
One of the main radial roads of Connaught Place, the Barakhamba Road connects Connaught Place with the Mandi House circle. On and near the circle are located the Sahitya Akademi and Doordarshan Kendra or the Government Television Channel.
Barakhamba Road is lined with Commercial Office Buildings on either sides such as Banks, Airline Offices, Offices of PSUs and large multinational and national businesses. The well known Modern School is also on Barakhamba Road. Other important buildings on the road are the National Museum of Natural History, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Vijaya Building, New Delhi House, etc. There is also a Metro station on Barakhamba road of the Blue line which connects Noida with Dwarka.
The road is called Barakhamba road as it was supposed to have the twelve- pillared (or Bara Khamba in Hindi) house of a noble man, built near the area during the rule of Sultan Mohammad Tuglaq. There is however, not a sign of such a house anywhere near the road. An artist has however depicted this house as a large house with three storeys that also has a high tower and a wide terrace from where the city could be seen. The house had a high compound wall that surrounded it.
In Lutyens Delhi there are other important roads such as Akbar Road, Janpath, Rajpath, Ashok road, Safdarjung road, Prithwiraj road, Aurobindo Marg, Teen Murti, and Parliament Street Etc.
All these roads are wide and tree-lined with important monuments and buildings on either sides. They are well maintained and have roundabouts at both ends that are looked after by the horticulture department and are filled with flower beds and are beautifully land-scaped. The roads Delhi outside of Lutyens Delhi are not so beautiful, They may not be so wide or so well maintained and may not even be all filled with flower gardens. Some roads may not even be as clean and could be overcrowded and congested with traffic.
To maintain the aesthetic beauty of Lutyen’s Delhi the Delhi Metro runs underground and outside it runs on elevated pillars.
Akbar Road is an important main road, in central New Delhi located near India Gate. It is a beautiful tree lined avenue with offices of many political parties and residences ministers and members of Parliament.
Safdarjung Road is another important road, in New Delhi and is named after Safdarjung, who was the Subedar Nawab of Oudh. His tomb is also located on the road and is well maintained by the Archeological Society of India. Safdarjung Airport is also located here. Many important roads such as Teen Murti Marg, Akbar Road, Rajaji Marg and Racecourse Road are in the vicinity and touch the roundabouts at the north end of the road whereas at the roundabout of the opposite end are Prithviraj Road, Tughlaq Road and Sri Aurobindo Marg.
Bus Ride on the Roads of Delhi
You cannot say everything you have to say about Delhi Roads unless you have travelled in the public road transport of Delhi, the Delhi Transport Corporation or DTC buses.
The roads are very busy during office hours and when the school buses invade the roads in the morning and afternoon. During the morning office goers, college students, shop keepers all invade the buses as it is time to rush to their offices, colleges or shops. It is all one mad rush with no discipline, no common courtesy or plain good manners! This goes on until around 10 AM after which there is a slight lull.
If you avoid the rush hour, you might get to enter the bus without pushing and pulling and perhaps even get a seat. The new buses are comfortable and roomy and easier to board and alight. There are some air conditioned routes too which make the ride quite comfortable.
DTC has a large fleet and its routes takes you from anywhere to anywhere in Delhi. En route one can see the real Delhi, the Delhi where the common man lives and works. As Delhi is not only a great Metropolitan City, it is also a Cosmopolitan City with people from all over India and a fair number of foreigners as well. One can see a cross section of society from the bus in Delhi and get a true pulse of the city!
Tips to Remember in Delhi Buses
One must remember some important tips when traveling on the public transport buses in Delhi. Here the conductor sits in his place and the passenger has to go to him and buy his ticket. The tickets are very reasonably priced and are supposed to be the cheapest in India per km.
There are special facilities for tourists. Tourists can buy a whole day pass and jump on and off any bus on that day. In this way tourists can see the whole of Delhi at a very nominal price. The Sight-Seeing buses called as the Ho-Ho buses are operated by Delhi Tourism. Ho-Ho stands for Hop On Hop Off and tourists can get off at any of the designated stops near place of tourist interest and get on again at any time. These buses are very popular with tourists as they show all tourist spots at a very nominal price and are also comfortable, not crowded and clean.
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