Moved by the frequent accidental deaths of pedestrians on the Gurgaon Expressway for the want of foot-over-bridges (FOBs), the concessionaire company launched a free ferry service on Monday.
Two buses make circular rounds of IFFCO Chowk and Udyog Vihar, helping pedestrians cross the highly busy stretch.
Hindustan Times decided to do a reality check on the unusual measure adopted to avoid pedestrian deaths.
This reporter reached the Gurgaon Expressway at 4.15 pm and decided to wait for the DSC mini bus on the right hand side (RHS) of the Gurgaon-to-Delhi side of the stretch near Genpact office.
Three buses passed by at an interval of about 10-12 minutes at 4.35, 4.55 and 5.05 pm. Not one stopped. In the meantime, scores of people were risking their lives by crossing the stretch on foot.
Unaware of the new bus service, a Genpact staffer Shovan jumped to the other side of the stretch on his way to his office at Udyog Vihar.
“I haven’t heard of any bus service. This is how I cross the road almost everyday,” said Shovan who was in a hurry.
After walking along the stretch for about a kilometre, this reporter boarded a bus from Atlas Chowk at 5.15.
When asked why the bus had not stopped at the earlier location, driver Biru Singh said he’d been instructed to pick up pedestrians only from Atlas Chowk in the evenings and from Udyog Vihar Chowk in the mornings.
The bus, which has a seating capacity of 15, can ferry 30 pedestrians.
It took five minutes for the bus to be filled with pedestrians and the five-kilometre journey to begin.
Sumit Aggarwal, an executive with Sigma Enterprises, praised the service.
“It is a good initiative. It should have been started earlier,” he said.
But, as the bus, after taking a U-turn from under the Udyog Vihar flyover, reached the other side of the expressway, the driver refused to drop him at the place he wanted.
The driver said the bus would halt only at one location — opposite the spot in Atlas Chowk from where it had started.
“Otherwise, the passengers will start using the service because it is free and the autowallahs will suffer,” Biru Singh reasoned.
“But we do not get a bus from where he dropped us," exclaimed Sumit.
The bus took a U-turn from under the IFFCO Chowk flyover and stopped at Atlas Chowk at 5.37 pm. It took 22 minutes to cover the five kilometres. No one was dropped midway. No one was picked up either. So, for the ones who were not at Atlas Chowk, it was life as usual.