The hearts of thousands of commuters, who walk or cycle to work crossing the busy Hero Honda Chowk junction every day, would skip a beat as they are forced to deal with the dangerous highway traffic directly, in absence of a foot overbridge or a flyover.
Hero Honda Chowk — the most problematic intersection on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway — plagues not only the people living in the areas located along National Highway-8 between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula, but also the commuters who have to cross this ever-busy junction, putting their lives at risk.
The crossover of vehicles from the Hero Honda Chowk side to the other side towards Pataudi and vice-versa is prohibited by the expressway concessionaire, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL). This has emerged as another cause of concern for local residents and regular commuters as there is no provision for moving right or left between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula.
As a result, the commuters are compelled to travel five-six kilometres for taking a U-turn either at Kherki Daula or Rajiv Chowk and this is unwanted harassment for them.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), and the Haryana government have proposed a flyover at this point for vehicles to cross the highway.
During a hearing in this regard at the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday, the NHAI officials informed the court that they had already initiated the process of constructing a foot overbridge (FoB) — a temporary solution for pedestrians and cyclists.
“But we have requested the court for a flyover as that is the only permanent solution to the problem,” said a local resident who is also one of the petitioners in the case. The high court has reportedly sought a report from the NHAI and the Haryana government regarding the flyover plan within 18 months.
“We had given a proposal to the Haryana government and the NHAI to construct a flyover at Hero Honda Chowk. We hope the government will consider the proposal and do the needful,” said SR Yadav, a local resident.
‘Flyover at Hero Honda Chowk is need of hour’
Gurgaon is one of the most promising business and residential hubs in north India. With the presence of several major companies, the future for the region is bright but the existing ground realities are disturbing and Hero Honda Chowk is one such example.
Waterlogging, potholes, messed-up service lanes are some of the major problems of the area. The Udyog Vihar area nearby is home to nearly 2,000 industrial units and offices of multinational companies and thousands come to work here daily, leading to congestion on the roads.
There is an immediate need for a flyover at the Hero Honda Chowk which will ease the traffic during peak hours. Also, the authorities should take immediate care of the drainage system to get rid of the perennial problem of waterlogging.
The authorities should identify and develop solutions for road-safety problem areas. The road infrastructure, including road surface, road signs and design, is a significant safety factor. Road designs must recognise that human beings make mistakes and try to minimise the consequences of human error.
Authorities should regularly check the standards for road development and slowly move towards a safety-conscious road form, customised for local conditions. For improvement, they should conduct road-safety audits and review road design from a safety point of view. Traffic-control devices, proper signage and video monitoring systems should be installed.
It is now apparent that some low-cost infrastructure improvements can substantially reduce the occurrence of road accidents and also solve the problem of traffic bottlenecks.
Examples of improvements include the separation of different types of traffic, better road markings and road signs, safer paths for pedestrians and two-wheelers, the construction of sidewalks or pavements and more visible pedestrian crossings. Ensuring slower traffic speed with the use of road humps, rumble strips and roundabouts is also a viable solution.