In a reflection of authorities’ scant regard for safety of commuters, covers of storm water drains along the National Highway-1 near Jalandhar Bypass continue to remain broken.
Recently, several accidents took place on the highway due to the uncovered drains, after twowheeler riders fell into them.
Besides, being an open invitation to mishaps, they often become traps for stray animals that wander on the highway. Also, water remains accumulated at several places in these drains, leading to foul smell and inconvenience to commuters. To make matters worse, garbage is also being dumped into these broken drains.
The construction work on the national highway has been hanging fire as a case regarding it was sub judice. However, in its order on April 17, the Supreme Court asked the Soma group to complete the six-laning of the 291-km stretch between Panipat and Jalandhar by March 31, 2015.
“A s wo rk is pending on the high way, the covers of drains also remain neglected. But why should the commuters suf fer? The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) should pay attention to their inconvenience,” said Sandeep Kumar, a resident near Jalandhar Bypass.
He said pedestrians often walked on the highway and could fall into the open drains and get severely injured, adding that the least the NHAI could do was install warning signs.
“A few days ago, a cow had fallen into a nullah, which falls under the limits of municipal corporation (MC), which acted swiftly to cover the nullah to avoid another mishap. The NHAI should also take steps to repair the damaged covers of the storm water drains as more such mishaps could take place,” a shop owner near Green Land School said.
“Besides, the MC should take steps to provide shelter to the stray animals and keep them away from the highway, as they can cause accidents,” he said.
Vipan Sharma, project director for project implementation unit, Ambala under NHAI, said, “The Supreme Court has allowed resuming work on this stretch of the National Highway. The work will start within a few days and pending jobs will be completed.”