Illegally constructed speedbreakers in the form of road humps on National Highway 9 (previously NH 10) and other highways leading out of the town have become a major factor of mishaps for motorists besides exposing them to the risk of being robbed.
In a stretch of less than 10 km of the road to Hisar, there are seven humps (at Bahu Akbarpur village); in the next 5 km stretch there are 10 (at Madina village), with another six at Kharkadda village and four at Meham town in the district. Barring one or two, none of these speedbreakers has a white strip or any signage to warn motorists.
On the 30 km road from Rohtak town to Meham, there are at least 27 speedbreakers. On the 58-km Rohtak-Sonepat state highway, there are 60 such speedbreakers en route. Some of them are located at Bohar, Bhalot, Kansala, Rohatak and Kharkhodda villages.
Last year, residents of Chidana and Shahpur villages in Sonepat district unilaterally built two large and potentially dangerous humps on the Rohtak-Panipat national highway despite stiff opposition by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Many villagers argue that the construction of such road humps, even though they are illegal, is a necessity to avoid fatal accidents caused by speeding vehicles. However, the reality appears to be that students and other village residents commuting to Rohtak have built these speedbreakers with the express intention of making state roadways buses slow down to board and alight from the buses.
Robberies rampant in such stretches
In recent weeks, many cases have been reported of motorists being waylaid when they slowed down at these speedbreakers and then robbed or even assaulted. A Sirsa-based jeweller on his way back from Delhi was attacked when his car slowed down at a speedbreaker near Meham a few months ago. Even a police patrolling team was not spared when their vehicle was attacked at night by youth near a speedbreaker not far from Kheri Sadh.
DS Dhawan, a Sirsa-based businessman, who regularly drives from Sirsa to Delhi via Rohtak, says: "The distance from Rohtak to Hisar and from then onwards to Sirsa is 90km, but it takes over two hours to cover the first half of the route due to speedbreakers."
On how illegal road humps are set up, an administrative official told HT on condition of anonymity that villagers usually place an electric pole on the road and cover it up with charcoal and construction material.
NHAI project director Rajiv Yadav said setting up a hump on any national highway is illegal and, if any speedbreaker is required to be built, it should not be more than 100 mm in size. On the humps at Chidana village on the Panipat-Rohtak highway he said it was completely illegal. He added even though NHAI had on several occasions written to the Sonepat deputy commissioner as well as the Gohana SDM to remove these humps nothing had been done so far.
On the illegal road humps on state highways, PWD (B&R) superintendent engineer Pardeep Ranjan said it had become a major problem with villagers opposing any move to remove them.