About four weeks ago, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had repeatedly cautioned motorists against overspeeding while inaugurating the Yamuna expressway. However, his plea of ‘Sadak achhi hai, par 100 km se upar katai nahi’ seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Over a dozen people have died in less than a month in accidents on the Greater Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway. These casualties have brought to fore the dangers of overspeeding.
The police admit that some speedometers, at times, don’t function on the 165-km toll road. “This makes the task of penalising those who resort to overspeeding tough,” said an officer.
But it has also been realised that meters installed by Jaypee Infratech — the developer of the e-way — is not the only solution.
The UP police feel the need to equip police patrol teams with necessary tools for communication on the stretch, which opened on August 9. Top officials held a meeting in Agra and prepared a proposal in this regard.
“There is a need for an effective speed monitoring mechanism at different segments on the e-way. Motorists can be penalised when they slow down at toll plazas. So, we need to have a rapid communication system for patrolling parties for detection and prosecution of violators,” said an official. So far, less than two dozen challans have been issued for this offence.
The expressway has a limit of 100 kmph, but there have been cases of overspeeding. Ever since the toll road has been thrown open to public, its speed limit has been a subject of public debate.
Akhilesh’s uncle and senior party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who flagged off the traffic in Greater Noida, had said, “Commuters must be allowed to drive at 120 kmph against the set limit of 100 kmph.” “Itni achhi sadak hai, 100 kmph pe drive kar ke kya fayda. Driver bhi aalsi ho jayega? (It’s such a good road. What’s the use of driving at 100 kmph? Even the driver would lose interest),” the Samajwadi Party leader had said.
He went on two ask Jaypee Infratech to send a proposal to the state government to increase the limit to 120 kmph.
A Jaypee spokesman said, “People tend to accelerate. They don’t realise the dangers… We’re spreading enough awareness.”
With incidents of tyre bursting occurring regularly, questions are being raised about the advisability of constructing an all-concrete road.
“Motorists have been advised to check their tyres before they take to the e-way at entry points in Greater Noida and Agra,” said an official. “The real test will be during summers when the temperature will rise," he said.