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Road turned into dumping yard

Precious lives are lost on a daily basis as the drivers of overloaded commercial vehicles treat a national highway as their own backyard. Jatin Anand reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 12, 2011 00:19 IST
Jatin Anand

Precious lives are lost on a daily basis as the drivers of overloaded commercial vehicles treat a national highway as their own backyard.

While a majority of these don't believe in properly covering the soft and hard construction material that they carry into the city, a large number can be seen loading and unloading merchandise in peak traffic time.

"Small and middle-level local transport godowns are located on either side of the NH-1, Kanjhawala Road and Bawana Road. The drivers of these vehicles can be seen loading and unloading their goods even as other heavy vehicles speed by behind them. If this is not criminal negligence, then what is?," asked a senior traffic police officer.

As if this wasn't enough, a precariously tilting road that acts as a collection point for sand, cement, and whatever falls off speeding, overloaded trucks, forming shifting mounds of danger for pedestrians and motorists alike.

"At many places on NH 1, the angle of slant is as dangerously high as 45 degrees. Due to the slant, soft construction material such as cement and sand that trucks carry on the stretch creates mounds that are dangerous for motorists. Anyone allowing this to happen or doing it should be harshly penalised," said professor PK Sarkar, a senior road safety and traffic infrastructure expert. The same leftover construction material becomes lethal when it finds its way near the abysmally low road divider.

"The height of the road divider is already very low. When the debris get deposited near this, they create a lethal imbalance for two and four-wheelers alike. So, there are very high chances of these vehicles losing their balance after running into the mound before finally toppling over due to the concrete divider beneath," professor Sarkar added.

Police said they were neither responsible for overloaded trucks, nor for badly designed road dividers.

"We can only prosecute drivers for traffic offences. Why hasn't the state transport department created checkpoints to ascertain whether these commercial vehicles are overloaded near the borders? Similarly, civic agencies are responsible for cleaning-up, and not us," the traffic police officer added.