Cutting through the city to head towards the Zirakpur-Ambala-Delhi route, Dakshin Marg sees all types of traffic. No wonder, accidents here are common. Most of the victims on what is also National Highway 21 are pedestrians and two-wheeler riders, and it has seven stretches categorised as ‘sensitive’ by the police.
In 2010, the Marg saw 42 accidents, as against 53 in 2011. In 2012, it saw 46 accidents; down to 29 in 2013; but already 27 till August this year.
Also Read: In middle of mess on Madhya Marg
Choking at Hallomajra
With 19 deaths in the past four years, the Hallomajra crossing tops the mishap chart on this road. As many as 27 accidents have occurred on these traffic lights in the past three years. In 2012, it saw 12 accidents; last year, there were nine accidents; and in 2014 there have been four accidents till August. Pedestrians from the village and colonies nearby routinely get hit by speeding vehicles.
The stretch that leads to the Hallomajra chowk from near the Tribune roundabout too has significantly high density of traffic. One of the roads leads in from Zirakpur, another is the city’s exit effectively; a third turns towards the Madhya Marg and main town; while the fourth goes towards Mohali.
From Chandigarh’s perspective, this stretch which leads to the airport lights and Darua village, and sees trucks, buses, cars, two-wheelers, cyclists and pedestrians all move in a hurry. Many times, dwellers of nearby colonies cross the road in sheer daredevilry. Non-functional streetlights make it worse. And, at night, when the traffic lights go on blinker mode, the problem is compounded by trucks.
Airport, and poultry farm
The airport lights and the poultry farm roundabout after the Tribune chowk have seen eight and 12 road mishap deaths, respectively, in the past four years. These areas have similar problems as those at Hallomajra. Dwellers of Raipur Khurd, largely pedestrians, move onto the road during morning and evening. Office traffic makes it worse.
At the poultry farm roundabout, seven accidents occurred in 2012, followed by five in 2013 and the same number this year till August. At the airport lights, seven accidents were witnessed in 2012 and five in 2013. This year, four accidents have been reported till August.
Amber (yellow) lights installed for caution are not working, and pedestrian signboards are missing; so are the police mostly.
A peculiar problem on the stretch is that people try to jump through railings to cross the road.
They also come on the wrong side through the slip road to avoid going the entire stretch towards the lights. In a situation where rules are not followed, even motorists tend to jump signals. A basic need for higher railings has not been addressed for long.
At the end, ignored sectors
At the Sector 25-38 lights, two deaths have already been reported this year. This is the extreme south-west end of the city, and connects the cremation ground and southern sectors. The stretch also leads to the Sector-38 motor market and the garbage treatment plant in Dadumajra; and connects with Mullanpur. On foot and bicycles, people from Sector 25, Bhaskar Colony, and Dadumajra Colony move with faster traffic. In 2012, the stretch saw seven accidents; four in 2013. This year, till August, six accidents have occurred at this spot.
As this is virtually the end of the city, police presence is none or minimal.