Waking up to the plight of hundreds of pedestrians who risk their lives daily in a bid to cross the high-speed Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, the Haryana government has assured to take up the matter with the Centre and increase its spending to set up infrastructure such as subways, footover bridges and underpasses.
Hindustan Times has been highlighting the gravity of the situation as around 100 pedestrian deaths, mainly on the seven-km stretch between Hero Honda Chowk and Kherki Daula toll plaza, were reported last year. The major reason behind the high number of accidents is the lack of facilities to cross roads such as underpass and footover bridges.
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda invited members of residents’ body, Joint Action Forum of RWAs (Jafra), for talks at his New Delhi residence in Pant Marg on Sunday.
He assured residents that the Haryana government would not mind spending extra to construct the required infrastructure on the troubled stretch of the Gurgaon Expressway.
A large number of resident bodies, industrial associations and panchayats, led by Jafra, had threatened to block the expressway if the proposed high-level talks between the Ministry of Surface Transport and Highways, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Haryana government to be held on February 17 fail to break the deadlock on the issue of constructing underpasses and pedestrian bridges.
The matter has been hanging fire for years as the Centre and state government have locked horns over the cost-sharing model.
None of the stakeholders are ready to bear the cost of R314 crore for these facilities.
While the central government agencies want Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) and Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) to bear 33% cost each, the state agreed to contribute 25%.
Haryana had contended that any infrastructure addition on the highways was the responsibility of NHAI.
“The CM told us that he has convened a meeting with Union ministers for urban development and road transport, Kamal Nath and CP Joshi respectively, as well as the top brass of NHAI on Monday,” Jafra chairman Col Ratan Singh said.
Singh added that Jafra had not dropped its agitation plan till now and would wait for some concrete action.