Travelling along National Highway-24 -- that separates Ghaziabad and Noida —is more than a nightmare, especially during peak hours. Reason: dozens of unauthorised approach roads from nearby localities to the busy highway and illegal cuts that have come up along the stretch.
According to officials, heavy flow of vehicles from the approach roads results in traffic jams, affects vehicular movement and causes fatal accidents.
The problem has been persisting over for years and putting pressure on the four-lane NH-24 — a major entry point to Delhi. According to Public Works Department (PWD NH Division), traffic moves at just 30-40 kmph on an average. During peak hours, it takes hours to negotiate the stretch.
The stretch is used by around 1.25 lakh vehicles (PCU) every day, officials said.
“You have to be extra cautious otherwise you land up with an accident with traffic suddenly coming up on the highway. This reduces speed and is a daily ordeal for Ghaziabad and Noida commuters,” said Nishant Sinha, a daily commuter.
The PWD (NH Division) officials recently identified around 13 unauthorised approach roads which are mostly connected to unauthorised colonies along the highway.
“We have apprised civic agencies through a written communication about these approach roads as they have been constructed without the approval from the ministry. We have asked them to demolish these roads and provide proper service lanes which can merge smoothly on to the highway from nearby areas,” said Ravi Dutt Kumar, executive engineer PWD NH division.
The dozens of illegal cuts that have been opened up by nearby residents facilitate their own movement across the roads without giving any thought to safety concerns have compounded the problem.
Ghaziabad traffic police estimate around 20-25 such illegal-cuts that have come up between UP-Gate and Ghaziabad and need closure with immediate effect.
Officials estimated around 25% accidents cases are reported on the stretch.
“The illegal cuts are flourishing here and people have broken the central verge as per their convenience. All this create congestion on the highway and commuters face a tough time during peak hours,” said Kuldeep Saxena from Indirapuram RWA Confederation.
Officials just seem to pass the buck and are not serious to take responsibility to crack down and find a solution to the problem which is growing day by day and affecting thousands of commuters who have to bear the jams every day.
Municipal corporation chief engineer SK Srivastava said that the approach roads were present for over years and these were not provided by his department.
“Service lanes have to be provided either by the GDA or by department maintaining the highway. These cannot be closed down as a huge population cannot be bounded.
We are taking up the matter with the various departments,” he added.