The ride on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway is getting tougher as regular commuters bear the brunt, thanks to a series of hurdles.
Already hassled with long traffic jams on the two toll plazas at Sirhaul and Kherki Daula, confusion over speed limit adds to their woes.
They rue that despite paying toll twice, the drive towards Manesar and further to Jaipur remains chaotic. “Reckless drivers who flout the speed limit rule the road. They dangerously overtake and have no concept of lane driving,” said Arshdeep Singh, an entrepreneur.
Khsitiz Varma, a resident of Delhi, who drives down to his Manesar office everyday said that there is no implementation of the speed limit on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway and many motorists drive at a dangerous speed of more than 100 kmph. “It gets fatal when they crisscross from one lane to another,” he said.
Traffic police officials said that most accidents on the expressway take place while overtaking from the wrong side.
“Despite clear signage, people overtake from the left whereas they are supposed to overtake from the right using the top lane. You also find motorists who drive at less than 60 kmph in the top lane and don’t give way to others. The top lane is meant only for overtaking,” said a senior traffic official.
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.
“The expressway in Gurgaon is not a bypass. It cuts across the city, which is why there is a need for services like foot-over 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.
“In many progressive cities of the world there is a concentrated effort to avoid these urban expressways and wherever these eyesores have been built, they are being torn down, especially those that cut through the city. This is because these minimised use of land space and reduced the quality of life for city residents,” Bhatt added.