Restoration work by ASI at Delhi Red Fort chokes traffic near Kashmere Gate | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Restoration work by ASI at Delhi Red Fort chokes traffic near Kashmere Gate

May 05, 2024 05:30 AM IST

ASI said the repairs will take one-and-a-half to three months to complete. Delhi traffic police said they will deploy more staff on the road on weekdays to manage snarls

There were traffic snarls on the Ring Road near the Red Fort on Saturday because one carriageway of the road leading to Hanuman Setu towards Kashmere Gate was closed to facilitate repair and restoration work on the Mughal-era Salimgarh Fort Bridge, one of whose arches was damaged in an accident involving a truck one-and-a-half years ago.

Repairs underway on the Salimgarh Fort Bridge arch in Delhi on Saturday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Repairs underway on the Salimgarh Fort Bridge arch in Delhi on Saturday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

The repair and restoration, being carried out by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), began on Saturday morning after the Delhi Traffic Police granted a no-objection certificate (NOC) to ASI, senior police officers aware of the matter said.

“The arch of the bridge from Salimgarh to ISBT Kashmere Gate, also known as the monkey bridge, was damaged. We had requested the deputy commissioner of police (traffic) to divert traffic so the work could be completed. ASI is currently repairing it,” said Praveen Singh, superintending archaeologist of the Delhi circle of ASI.

An ASI official from the Red Fort sub-circle said, “We were trying to get permission to start repairs on the arches but we got it a bit late. The repairs will continue for at least one-and-a-half months and permission has been given for traffic diversions. But the work could continue for three months as well. It can be considered a repair as well as restoration work.”

Around 10 am on Saturday, the Delhi Traffic Police issued a traffic advisory on social media websites saying that one lane of the Mahatma Gandhi Marg — better known as the Ring Road, towards the Hanuman Setu (bridge) near the Yamuna Bazar Hanuman Temple — was closed.

“ASI will start repair work on the arch near Hanuman Setu from today i.e. 04.05.2024. As a result, the extreme right lane (below Mangi Bridge) towards Hanuman Mandir carriageway will be closed. Traffic may remain heavy near Hanuman Mandir,” the traffic advisory said.

Heavy traffic was witnessed on the remaining lanes of the Ring Road after the extreme right lane was closed and repair work began. The road closure led to traffic snarls on both carriageways of the Hanuman Setu through which vehicles were going towards Kashmere Gate and the Delhi-Haryana border via Alipur. However, no extreme traffic jams were reported because traffic police guided motorists and diverted vehicles to the remaining lanes.

“As traffic volume on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) remains low, we have deployed three traffic personnel to regulate the traffic and ensure no traffic jams happen in the area. From Monday, we will increase the strength of our staff, as traffic jams may happen due to the closure of one carriageway. We have given ASI a month to finish repairs. It may be extended if required. Repair work on the remaining arches will also take place,” said a traffic police officer, who was monitoring the situation.

The portion between Hanuman Setu and Kashmere Gate interstate bus terminal (ISBT) usually sees traffic jams as traffic coming from northeast Delhi merges on the Ring Road near the bus terminal. Buses and other vehicles halting outside the bus terminal also cause traffic snarls on the route.

(With inputs from Aheli Das)

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