Ghaziabad may have witnessed an increase in the number of vehicles in 2015, but the city saw a dip in the number of accidents as well as road fatalities in the year.
However, several accident-prone areas on the two major national highways —NH-24 and NH-58— running through the district have become a major concern for the administration.
According to the data provided by the traffic police, the district recorded 782 accidents in 2015 (January 1 to December 15) as compared to 860 in 2014 and 850 in 2013. Apart from a decline in the number of accidents, the number of road fatalities also came down in 2015. The figure stood at 313 in 2015 as compared to 370 and 383 in 2014 and 2013, respectively.
The administration has identified five major accident-prone areas on NH-58. They are the ALT-cut, Raj Nagar Extension, Abupur, KIET College road and Mohan Nagar. The major accident-prone areas on NH-24 include Dasna, Jindal Cut and Vijay Nagar.
The two highways have four lanes each and are under the Ghaziabad jurisdiction.
A proposal to widen the NH-24 had been pending for the past several years. However, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) recently floated tenders for the construction of 14 lanes on the road that connects Nizamuddin in Delhi and Dasna in Ghaziabad.
According to the figures with the ministry of road transport and highways, the total number of road accidents on all national highways across the country stood at 1,37,903 in 2014. This accounted for 28.2% share in total road accidents. The figures for 2012 and 2013 stood at 1,42,694 and 1,36,786, respectively, for the entire country.
Uttar Pradesh, meanwhile, recorded 12,028, 8,652 and 11,157 road accidents in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Raj Nagar councillor Rajendra Tyagi said that illegal cuts and on-road parking were some of the major causes of road accidents.
“Some major reasons for such large number of accidents are illegal cuts, broken or low dividers and rampant on-road parking of vehicles. Presence of residential areas along the highways, including illegal colonies, also lead to accidents hamper driving conditions and prove risky for drivers as well as the residents who move across the roads,” Tyagi said.
Sumit Pant, a resident of Kavi Nagar, said that the two highways are widely used by commuters and are very unsafe.
“A majority of commuters travelling to Delhi or towards western Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand majorly use the two highways. But driving on these roads is risky as there are unregulated intersections in Ghaziabad. Even commuters travelling short distances, such as to Noida, also get stuck in jams during the peak hours. The widening of the highway should be carried out at the earliest,” said Pant.
Traffic department officials, meanwhile, said that they are carrying out traffic drives and taking action against anyone violating the norms. The officials said they are even sensitizing youngsters and drivers on safe driving.
“The decline in the number of accidents and fatalities is a sign of improvement. But the agencies concerned should also improve the infrastructure in view of the growing number of vehicles in the city,” said Amar Singh, superintendent of police (traffic).
“However, we are concerned about the accident-prone areas on the national highways because there are residential areas nearby,” Singh said.