Highway to hell? No speed limit on Mohali’s killer airport road

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times, SAS Nagar
  • Updated: Jul 09, 2016 12:08 IST
On collision course with law. A motorcycle going through a median, broken by residents of nearby localities on the airport road in SAS Nagar. It is dangerous when vehicles appear suddenly out of unexpected points. (HT Photo)

With the SAS Nagar traffic police failing to enforce speed limit on the busy airport road, it has become a highly accident-prone stretch as at least 20 mishaps have been reported in the last 10 months.

Six people were killed during the same period.

The death of Harman Preet (24) on Thursday once again brought to the fore violations of traffic rules on the road. The Maruti Swift car he was travelling in collided with a truck near the Radha Soami Satsang centre on the road in the wee hours. His friend Sidakpreet Singh (23) was injured.

Read more: 24-yr-old Patiala man killed after car crashes into truck

Airport road, which starts from Kharar, passes through the SAS Nagar industrial area, leads to the international airport and joins the Zirakpur-Patiala highway.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has fixed the speed limit at 60 kilometre per hour (kmph) for four-wheelers on the stretch. The limit has been capped at 20 km per hour near Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan at Sohana.

To make commuters aware about speed limit, the GMADA is installing boards. With no check in place, people tend to speed their vehicles, posing threat to others’ lives.

Residents living in nearby localities break the road dividers, which is another reason behind rising number of accidents.

In September last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the international airport, after which domestic flights started operating from the new terminal, leading to rush of vehicles on the road. Besides, commuters use the stretch if they want to go to Zirakpur or beyond and avoid going to Chandigarh as it saves their time.

Sources said traffic cops remain on duty till 8pm after which PCR vehicles are supposed to patrol and check traffic violations. Shortage of manpower is the major reason behind poor enforcement. As per the 2011 Census, there are 50 traffic policemen in SAS Nagar city against a population of 1.5 lakh. A single cop polices 3,000 vehicles.

Other factor behind people driving at break-neck speed at night is drunk driving as the city police are short of equipment like speed guns and alcometers

MC commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said, “CCTV surveillance will enhance safety of residents and will prevent traffic violations. Work on this will begin soon.”

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