The Uttar Pradesh transport department has identified as many as 30 black spots on the Yamuna Expressway. Black spots are areas that witness accidents frequently, owing to a number of factors including faulty road engineering and bad lighting.
According to an RTI reply, the expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra witnessed 2,194 accidents between August, 2012 and April, 2015.
As many as 275 accidents took place in 2012, in 2013 the number went up to 896, while 2014 saw 771 accidents. In 2015, there have been 252 accidents from January 1 to April 30. As many as 319 people lost their lives in accidents on the 165-km access-controlled highway.
The transport department has called for a meeting, to be chaired by the chief secretary, to discuss the issue.
The officials said they have identified a total of 1,252 black spots on all the expressways and national highways across the state. The total length of the national highways (including expressways) in UP is around 7,000 km.
The government is aiming to fix these black spots at the earliest, especially those identified on the 170km Yamuna Expressway, as fog during winter increases the chances of an accident.
“There is a Supreme Court direction in this regard, which states that this issue must be resolved at the earliest. The UP chief secretary will hold a meeting with officials of the transport department and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), in the next few days. The Yamuna Expressway, in particular, has been found vulnerable to accidents as 30 black spots have been identified between Greater Noida and Agra,” said Mayank Jyoti, regional transport officer (RTO), Ghaziabad division.
“I have been instructed by the transport commissioner, K Ravindra Naik, to call an urgent meeting with the concessionaire of the Yamuna Expressway and officials of the Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority (YEIDA). I hope to call for the meeting on December 3,” said Jyoti, who was also present in the high meeting called by the transport commissioner on Friday at Lucknow, to discuss the issue.
The three agencies responsible for fixing the black spots are the NHAI, the Uttar Pradesh public works department (UP-PWD) and the national highways division of the PWD.
The RTO said, “NHAI will have to fix 298 black spots, UP-PWD will resolve fix 568 black spots while the NH division of the PWD will take care of 386 black spots.”
Three days ago, a team of YEIDA officials, headed by chief executive officer (CEO) Arun Vir Singh, inspected the Yamuna Expressway on instruction of the UP government to identify the black spots and suggest measures to fix them.
The suggestions include a three-step process — educating commuters on the adverse impact of high speed, action against offenders and engineering work on the roads.