A citizen’s pressure group has decided to stage a dharna and recite Bhagavad Gita at Hero Honda Chowk on the main Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway to protest the lack of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, leading to a number of casualties.
The protest, to be held on May 5 from 8am to 5pm, will be led by city-based activist Raman Sharma who is also the president of resident body, Gurgaon Progressive Forum.
Sharma said he came up with the unique protest idea as the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the Haryana government had failed to pay heed to the residents’ long-standing demand of having sufficient facilities for crossing on the Hero Honda Chowk such as footover bridges and subways.
Last year, 55 people lost their lives on the 27-km long Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway while the toll was 89 in 2011.
“The number of accident deaths registered in entire Gurgaon, including NH-8, Gurgaon-Faridabad Expressway, Sohna Road, was 438 last year, while it was 437 in 2011. If this is not enough for the government to wake up and take action, residents have no choice but to take to the streets,” Sharma added.
“I know I can be arrested for blocking the highway but if that is what it takes for the NHAI and state to act, I am ready for it. Till our demands are fulfilled, I will sit on dharna in front of the NHAI chairman’s office,” he said, adding that he has got more than 70 letters of supporters, including women, who will join the protest.
The NHAI has proposed to construct a Japanese-model flyover through a high-rise building to end traffic mess at Hero Honda Chowk. Tenders have been floated for the plan.