Carelessness and Speed, Markers of Vikas Marg

  • Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 24, 2014 15:08 IST

Late last month, an accident between two speeding vehicles — a car and a bus — on the Sector 45-46 traffic signal on Vikas Marg killed six persons and left 15 injured. It was a clear marker of what is essentially wrong on this road.

The car had three college students, all of whom died, while among the Himachal Pradesh luxury bus passengers an NRI couple and a young researcher were the fatalities. The bus conductor and driver also got injured.

The stretch leading to these traffic lights from the Sector 44/45-50/51 signal has seen 16 deaths in road mishaps in the past four years. The road is quite wide and accidents on the stretch take place largely during late night, as the route is frequented by buses from outer states that speed up after finding the roads empty.

There is also a paramilitary camp and barricade on one side of the road, but that is no deterrent apparently. What’s also required is regular pruning of bushes to give a clear view at the crossroads.

But this is not the only problem point on Vikas Marg, which has several blind crossroads and is the last and southernmost of the three main Margs. The menace of cattle roaming on the road is a headache too.

Another sensitive spot is the Sector 46/47-48/49 signal, which has seen eight deaths in four years. There have been 15 accidents reported here in the past three years. But it seems to be improving.|

While 14 accidents were reported on the spot in 2012, the number came down to just one in 2013 and till August this year, no mishap has been reported.

The road leads to housing societies and flats at the outer end of the city next to Mohali. Many a times the traffic lights are rendered non-functional which leads to motorists driving in a haphazard manner.

Footpaths are required to facilitate movement of pedestrians, and proper signboards are needed to be put up announcing speed limits. Slip roads are in a bad shape, and police presence is negligible.

Another problematic area is the stretch in front of the Inter- State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Sector 43, and further leading to the one dividing Sectors 44 and 51. This stretch of National Highway-21 has seen 16 deaths in four years.

Predictably, given the nature of traffic and manner of driving, the number of accidents is more at night. Road markings are missing and police are lackadaisical. Most deaths are of two-wheeler riders as buses and trucks moving at night take shortcuts from the wrong side; these present a big risk to pedestrians too.

This stretch too needs footpaths and proper speed checks. Higher railings are required to deter pedestrians from jumping across the road suddenly.In all, the road has six accidentprone spots identified by the police as such.

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