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Probe into E-way deaths

The Gurgaon district magistrate ordered an inquiry into the high number of accidental deaths on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and safety measures adopted by DSC Limited, the company operating and maintaining it. Sanjeev K Ahuja reports.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2009 01:20 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

The Gurgaon district magistrate on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the high number of accidental deaths on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and safety measures adopted by DSC Limited, the company operating and maintaining it.

Over 108 deaths have been reported on the expressway since its commercial launch in January 2008.

The magistrate was not satisfied with the safety steps taken by DSC for commuters.

If the company is found not to be fulfilling safety requirements for pedestrians and motorists, the administration could take legal action against top management officials, DM Rajinder Kumar Kataria said.

The inquiry would be conducted by additional deputy commissioner Parveen Kumar. Kumar will table the findings before DM Kataria in two days.

The DM gave DSC Limited two days to submit an action plan to complete the deficit safety norms on this fast stretch.

Kataria on Wednesday summoned DSC’s vice-president (Operations) Sachin Sharma and other company officials to is office to explain the steps the company had taken to ensure the safety of commuters on the 27.7-km-long expressway.

K.S. Anand, father of the 19-year-old Rahul who was killed on the expressway, and other relatives of victims were present in the meeting.

The DSC officials made a powerpoint presentation on the safety measures.

Not convinced, the DM said that it was a matter of shame and grave concern that the company had failed to adopt safety measures for pedestrians and motorists one-and-a-half years after the commercial launch of the expressway.

“The DSC started charging toll from the motorists without any provision for a safe driving environment. The work on erecting iron fences on the median is still not completed,” Kataria said.

The DM said not even a single foot-over bridge was ready for pedestrians.

“Water tankers continue to water plants on the fast lanes despite the high risk of hi-speed vehicles hitting it. The waiting time at the toll plazas is very high. There is no emergency exit for the vehicles such as fire tenders,” Kataria said.

DSC’s Sharma said the accident death rate on the Gurgaon Expressway was lower than other expressways. He said majority of safety measures were taken as per terms of the concessionaire agreement signed with the National Highway Authority of India.

“We have plans to set up variable message sign board to flash instant messages for commuters regarding any incident. And also CCTV and public address system will be installed on a few selected location,” he added.