Inconveniently built speed-breakers pose constant hurdles to the Millennium City which moves at a breakneck speed, making travel increasingly dangerous for its residents.
While there are too many undesirable speed-breakers at very close intervals - 90 per cent of these are unauthorised and unscientific - there are also other areas where absence of speed breakers have caused fatal accidents. "Islampur village between Rajiv Chowk and Sohna Road has huge speed breakers. I have seen even luxury cars getting damaged by them. These are harmful for vehicles as well as the environment because the cars very often stop near them and much energy is wasted in restarting the vehicles," said Sanjay Chugh, general secretary of NGO Urja Samiti.
There are many such stretches in Gurgaon where speed-breakers are not made as per the Indian Road Congress (IRC) guidelines. The commissioner of police, Alok Mittal, recently notified the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) about 93 speed-breakers which need to be remade according to IRC specifications.
Other IRC rules, such as putting up signage or painting and repairing damaged speed breakers, are also flouted and even the new yellow-black rumble striped plastic ones lie dented - a fact which the authorities deny. "These are readymade speed breakers filled with air and made according to IRC guidelines and we install only these nowadays as they are easy to maintain, too," said YK Garg, superintendent engineer, MCG.
There are about 400 deaths every year on National Highway in Gurgaon due to speeding vehicles and the absence of speed breakers in the accident-prone zones highlights the lack of planning on part of the authorities. "Usually roads in Gurgaon are made for the convenience of cars. However, 80 per cent of the population here does not own a car. Speed-breakers need to be installed in many parts of Gurgaon immediately for better safety of pedestrians and owners of small vehicles," said a member of the non-motorised transport (NMT) cell.
Besides, there is no count of authorised or unauthorised speed breakers in Gurgaon. MCG officials do not have the exact count and location of even those that are within its jurisdiction. Apart from MCG there are other authorities like Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) and the private builders who maintain speed breakers within the jurisdiction of their townships or societies.
While the municipal corporation is usually the authority when it comes to speed breakers in most cities of India, Gurgaon faces the problem of having multiple authorities. "The MCG is responsible only for speed breakers in areas which are not under either Huda or private developers," said Garg.
Zebra crossings are also a no-show on Gurgaon roads. "All major countries of the world are focusing on pedestrian tracks while we are still stuck in the planning stage. Zebra crossing is also a means for ensuring convenience of pedestrians but not one can be seen on the city roads," says Dr Kulwant Singh, regional advisor, UN Habitat.
"There is a need for well-planned speed-breakers and zebra crossings in Gurgaon as roads are constructed keeping cars in mind. But then, the cars are also inconvenienced by the unscientific dimensions of the speed breakers. However, there are many cities in the world with a sustainable transport system including dedicated walkways which leave the roads to vehicles and do not require many speed breakers," explains Singh.