Two years in a row, Dakshin Marg remains the most dangerous road in Chandigarh
The road saw a total of 20 accidents, contributing to 21% of total fatalities in 2019
On January 13, 2019, Rinku, a resident of Ram Darbar in Industrial Area, Phase 2, saw a bus bearing a Punjab registration number run over a pedestrian near the no-honking signboard on the road leading from Hallomajra light point to poultry farm chowk.
The pedestrian, who was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32 for treatment, succumbed to his injuries later. His identity is still unknown, and the bus driver was arrested after the police traced the registration number of the bus.
This was the first of the 20 accidents that took place on the Dakshin Marg stretch, the most dangerous road in the city two years in a row, as per traffic police data. These accidents also contributed towards 21% of the total of 92 accidents that took place in the city last year, as per the police.
Dakshin Marg starts from the Sectors 25/38 light point in the West, traverses the whole width of the city and ends with the road connecting to the Zirakpur-Ambala highway.
MOST ACCIDENTS NEAR TRIBUNE CHOWK
The majority of these accidents, 10 in total, took place on the patch from Tribune Chowk towards the Zirakpur-Ambala highway. Last year, 13 fatal accidents had taken place on this very patch. However, there was a decrease in the figure, from 2018’s 25.
This small decrease is in line with total fatalities in the city, which as per traffic police data came down from 98 in 2018 to 96 in 2019. But the total figure doesn’t include the two fatal accidents that were registered under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a practice followed in data compilation of the previous years as well, said some senior police officials. Only cases lodged under Section 304A (punishment for causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) are considered.
Speaking about this, deputy superintendent of police (DSP, traffic) Kewal Krishan said, “This road is one of the busiest in the city. We station many cops here throughout the day to manage traffic, but people need to understand that following traffic rules is for their own safety. We are conducting awareness campaigns so that people follow rules even when they are unsupervised.”
‘NO NAKA TO CHECK SPEEDING ON STRETCH’
A member of the National Road Safety Council, Government of India, Kamal Soi, said that scientific enforcement is the key to solving this issue. “Even though nakas to check speeding are seen at the entry points of Chandigarh and along Southern roads, I have never come across one on the Dakshin Marg. It is a three-lane road, where speeding is rampant, especially late at night. This needs to be checked.”
Road safety activist Harpreet Singh said the road gets congested in front of Tribune Chowk when one approaches the highway, where most traffic consisting of cars moves toward Haryana and Delhi. “If one or two other roads can divert this traffic, it will bring down the number of fatal accidents.” He added that a ring road here is the need of the hour.
Punjab traffic adviser Navdeep Asija reiterated what he said last year that the speed tables on the Sectors 29, 30, 31, 32 roundabouts had acted as speed-calming devices and had greatly reduced the number of fatalities in 2018; this year, a similar trend was observed.