Poor lighting on several stretches of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway has made life difficult for commuters.
The road between Rao Tula Ram Marg and Kherki Daula toll plaza is difficult to tread because streetlights are unreliable and absent in several stretches.
Fast urbanisation has changed the basic character of the expressway from a ‘freeway’ to an ‘urban city road’ which needs major redesign, and redevelopment.
Thousands of commuters on foot, bicycles, and cars who use service lanes find it dark, dingy, and dangerous to walk on. Crossing the highway especially during the night is scary.
“The poor lighting makes things very difficult for pedestrians as it is impossible to cross the junctions. Women can’t walk as they don’t feel safe, and even for vehicles entry and exit on main highway becomes a major issue,” says Anvita Arora, a transport expert.
Badly lit junctions like Shanker Chowk, Iffco Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, and Hero Honda Chowk make crossing the road even more difficult. Nargis, who regularly takes shared auto from MG Road Metro station to her office in Sector 18 says that crossing the Iffco Chowk stretch tests her patience. “Lights are not there, no footpaths exist, and no zebra crossing has been provided for those who walk to work,” she said.
A number of office goers at Shanker Chowk stretch say that waiting for cabs or taking shared autos is highly unsafe after sunset. Those crossing from Cyber Hub to Udyog Vihar form human chains to tackle fast moving cars.
Lighting is a problem not only in the service lanes but even on the main carriageway, where a uniform luminosity of 30 lux has to be maintained, visibility during the night is an issue of concern.
At a number of stretches between Hero Honda Chowk and Kherki Daula; Rajiv Chowk, and Signature tower, and stretches close to Sirhaul, and Kherki Daula plaza need better illumination.
“Most accidents on this road happen during the evening and night hours at junctions because of poor lighting,” said traffic ASI Tejpal.
To resolve the problem of poor visibility during the night, NHAI, MCEPL and Skylark claim that they have started a major drive to repair lights on main carriageway. “We have repaired 98% lights. The cables and switches which were old have been replaced,” he asserts. The concessionaire however complains that power cables are being stolen repeatedly in Gurgaon.