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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Gurgaon: toll wait a springboard for mishaps, saye experts

Snehil Sinha, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, August 04, 2013
First Published: 01:33 IST(4/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:45 IST(4/8/2013)

The abnormally long waiting period at the toll plazas on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway builds up frustration among motorists and leads to fatal pedestrian accidents, say experts.

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Psychologists also blame the plazas for acting as springboards — restricting vehicles for hours before releasing them with a high speed.

“There is an obvious frustration due to slow-moving traffic at the toll plaza and vehicles run at an unusually high speed when they find a wide open road ahead. It is like a spring effect.

In such a situation, there is no scope for pedestrians to cross the road,” said Devender Kumar, psychiatric social worker, Civil Hospital, Gurgaon. He added that the competition to race ahead of another vehicle near the toll plaza also led to fatalities.

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Traffic police officials agree that the wait near the plaza is a reason for pedestrian accidents. “Road rage due to long queues at the toll plaza is definitely one of the reasons for accidents as the patience level of people is decreasing.

We ask people to maintain decent speed but nobody wants to wait,” said Mamta, assistant commissioner of police (traffic), Gurgaon.

Read more: 1.5 lakh pedestrians at risk, want toll removed  

According to informed estimates, about 88% of the people here commute either on foot, two-wheelers (including cycles, scooters and motorbikes) or by public transport. Ironically, this whopping majority is not allowed on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.

There aren’t enough footover bridges or underpasses and the service lanes either do not have pavements or are broken and hazardous. The lack of infrastructure has led to gross traffic violations with cyclists and pedestrians using the expressway at all times during the day.

Pedestrians are forced to risk their lives as there neither a footover bridge, not any subway to cross roads at Hero Honda Chowk in Gurgaon. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

“The expressway in Gurgaon is not a bypass. It cuts across the city, which is why there is a need for services like footover bridges and underpasses for pedestrians.

However, these services are shoddy and need to be upgraded soon,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, an urban planning expert with World Resource Institute.

Read more: ‘Rethink highway design, take cue from global cities’

“According to our agreement, we were supposed to build two footover bridges and four underpasses, which we have delivered.

The two overbridges are at Shankar Vihar and near Subroto Park and the four underpasses are located near RTR flyover, Rajokri, Anajmandi (before Hero Honda Chowk) and near Haldiram’s. Any additional overbridges or underpasses, if required, would need to be approved by the NHAI,” said a spokesperson of DGSCL, the expressway concessionaire firm.

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