Concerned by the poor average speed of vehicles on the national highways passing through the city, the Ghaziabad police are chalking measures to provide speedy passage to commuters.
Crawling traffic and congested highways during the peak hours have been concerns for those travelling on the NH-24, NH-58 and NH-91 for years. The Ghaziabad traffic police said they have come up with plans, with the help of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), to speed up traffic movement that will provide relief to concerns and also reduce air pollution caused by traffic jams and slow traffic movement.
“As per our ongoing survey, the average speed of vehicles over NH-24 is poor. It is around 20kmph during the peak hours and around 35kmph-40kmph during other times. Similarly, the vehicles move on the city stretches of NH-58 at around 40kmph-45kmph. Generally, the speed of vehicles should be around 60-65 kmph on the highways,” Rajesh Kumar, superintendent of police (SP traffic), said.
“We have decided to implement the methods to increase vehicle speed soon, after a study. The major problem is the illegal exits on the highways which lead to frequent stoppage of vehicles and decrease in speed. We will close down the illegal exits and also construct U-turns for traffic to move to the other side. This will be done with the help of the development authority as it requires road engineering measures to be undertaken,” he said.
Officials said that once the illegal exits are closed down, the U-turns will help streamline traffic flow. So far, the traffic police’s experiments with U-turns to streamline traffic, instead of exits mid-way through the major roads, has been successful. The traffic police successfully implemented a signal free U-turn at Mohan Nagar and later at major intersections -- Bhopra intersection, Site-IV industrial area and near the ABES-exit over NH-24.
“We are identifying exits where there is high thoroughfare traffic of pedestrians and vehicles, and those which need to be closed. One such exit is located below the Vasundhara foot overbridge. Severe traffic jams take place outside the Vaishali Metro station as autos and buses make undesignated stops to pick and drop passengers. We will come down heavily on such instances now. The respective departments will also be told to rein them, failing which we will impose severe penalties,” Kumar said.
The issue of increasing vehicular speed on national highways is being taken up by the traffic police as the proposed widening of NH-24 is yet to start and may take another two years. During his recent visit to Ghaziabad, Raghav Chandra, the chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had said that widening of NH-24 will be completed by March 2018.
“The widening issue has been pending for years. The slow paced traffic on national highways proves costly for daily commuters in terms of fuel cost, time delay and physical exhaustion. It also increases the emission levels that severely affect the environment,” Sanjeev Sethi of Indirapuram said.