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Delhi roads not safe for pedestrians, finds study

An internal assessment by an NGO that works for road safety shows that over 100 major traffic junctions of Delhi do not have basic facilities for pedestrians.

delhi Updated: Jun 07, 2016 23:39 IST
Soumya Pillai
Over 70% of the road accident victims in the city involved pedestrians and cyclists.
Over 70% of the road accident victims in the city involved pedestrians and cyclists.

Lack of road safety infrastructure and apathy of drivers are the biggest reasons behind road accidents in the National Capital, a study has found.

An internal assessment by an NGO that works for road safety shows that over 100 major traffic junctions of Delhi do not have basic facilities for pedestrians.

The social organization — Safetyfirst — has now written to the Delhi Traffic Police demanding a safety audit of traffic junctions across the city to find how safe Delhi is for pedestrians and cyclists.

“This is a disturbing trend that we see across the city. The junctions are typically designed for only vehicle users. Pedestrians and cyclists are the lowest in the caste hierarchy of road users. There is an immediate need to recognise the junctions, where walking is a risky business, so that appropriate action can be taken to prevent accidents,” said Sidheshwar Sinha, general secretary of Safetyfirst.

The NGO has also sent a detailed analysis of police data on road accident fatalities. Assessing the numbers for the last two years, it has found that over 70% of the road accident victims in the city involved pedestrians and cyclists.

In around 100 stretches of the city, it was found that there were no zebra crossings, subways or signals for pedestrian passage.

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Places such as CR Park (on Outer Ring Road), Uttam Nagar (below the flyover), Dhaula Kuan (bus stop), South Extension parts-I and II, Rajouri Garden (main crossing), RK Puram sector-13 (Ring Road), Moti Bagh (near Nanakpura Gurudwara), Akshardham, and Dadri are among the most unsafe junctions for pedestrians, the NGO found.

It was observed that in several stretches, where pedestrian facilities were available, lack of maintenance has made it difficult for people to use them.

“We conducted an analysis of subways for user safety, but most of these were not being used because of the abandoned state in which they are in. Most of the subways were poorly lit and no security guards were found anywhere around them. Some had become hubs for drug addicts and hence people are uncomfortable using these,” Sinha said.

For example, despite a social media campaign to revive the subway near IIT on the Outer Ring Road, the the underpass continues to be dilapidated and abandoned. After 6.00 in the evening, people prefer risking their lives and crossing the road while dodging fast moving traffic rather than taking the under passage.