On an average seven persons have lost their lives in road accidents on the incomplete and delayed six-lane stretch of Panipat-Jalandhar section on the National Highway-1 every month from January, 2012 to April, 2015, a majority of them as a result of over speeding and careless driving.
As many as 74 road accidents have been reported every month in which 27 persons have sustained injuries during period of 40 months (from January, 2012 to April 2015). Further, most of the accidents have occurred due to overturning, head on collisions and rear end collisions.
Hindustan Times has collected details of mishaps on this stretch under the Right to Information Act, 2005 from the National Highway Authority of India's project implementation unit in Ambala district of Haryana.
The data reveals that a total of 2,976 road accidents have been reported on this stretch, including 1,386 in the jurisdiction of Punjab and 1,590 within Haryana's boundary from January, 2012 to April 2015.
A total of 278 persons have died into these mishaps that include 112 in Punjab and 166 in Haryana.
The information disclosed that 1,084 commuters had sustained injuries (fatal, grievous and minor) on the 291 kilometre long section that falls in Haryana (116 kms) and Punjab (175 kms). Around 448 were injured in the section falling in Punjab, while 636 were injured in Haryana in 2,976 road accidents.
As per the information, a concession agreement was signed on May 9, 2008 between the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Soma Isolux NH One Tollway Private Limited for six-laning of Panipat- Jalandhar section of NH-1.
The six-laning was to be executed as a toll project on design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) basis. The project was scheduled for completion by November 2011, but it stands delayed by nearly four years.
HT noticed that the highway authorities have put up the signboard showing intersection ahead, but at the distance very close to dividers, which almost proves to be of little help for them.
Lack of high-mast lights and reflectors are the other things missing on the stretch. Vehicles parked on roadside during nights prove to be dangerous. The under-construction flyovers and numerous diversions are also giving painful experience to the commuters.
Prabhjot Singh, who travels from Jalandhar to Ludhiana daily through this stretch, said the stretch had been a constant source of harassment for the commuters. He added that owing to the incomplete construction works at few places, driving at night on this stretch was a risky affair