Restaurant in plane distracts drivers on Delhi-Meerut expressway, NHAI to install view cutters - Hindustan Times
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Restaurant in plane distracts drivers on Delhi-Meerut expressway, NHAI to install view cutters

By, Ghaziabad
Jan 30, 2024 09:12 PM IST

On August 18, 2023, a mother-son duo on a bike were killed after crashing into a container truck in front of them. The traffic police said the two were busy looking at the restaurant and did not spot the truck in front of them

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said it will install view cutters on a 600m str.etch of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway near Masuri in Ghaziabad to block the view of an aeroplane restaurant that is distracting drivers -- several of them are even stopping on the road to have a look -- thereby increasing the risk of accidents on the stretch near Masuri in Ghaziabad.

Officials said the aero restaurant near Masuri, called Hawa Hawai, is a collaboration between NHAI and a private company, which procured a decommissioned A320 airbus and remodelled it as a dining facility. (HT Photo)
Officials said the aero restaurant near Masuri, called Hawa Hawai, is a collaboration between NHAI and a private company, which procured a decommissioned A320 airbus and remodelled it as a dining facility. (HT Photo)

Officials said the aero restaurant near Masuri, called Hawa Hawai, is a collaboration between NHAI and a private company, which procured a decommissioned A320 airbus and remodelled it as a dining facility.

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The officials said view cutters are large, solid panels that are generally installed along stretches to protect sensitive installations such as airports and runway. They are used to block both view and unauthorised access, NHAI said.

“This stretch has become unsafe for commuters as people often stop on the road to look at the aero restaurant and this, inadvertently, pose a risk to other commuters. A few accidents have also happened there. So, the highways authority has planned to cut the view of the stretch near the restaurant by installing view cutters over a stretch of about 600 metres. This will involve a cost of about 50 lakh,” said an official from NHAI, who wished not to be named.

While the NHAI officials said they don’t have accident figures for the DME readily available with them, on August 18, 2023, a mother-son duo on a bike were killed after crashing into a container truck in front of them. The traffic police said that the two were busy looking at the restaurant and did not spot the truck in front of them.

On December 1, 2023, two young men were killed and another injured after their motorcycle collided with a truck near the restaurant stretch.

The officials said the the aircraft restaurant is located along Phase 2 of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, from UP-Gate to Dasna, and this stretch has a daily traffic of about 200,000 passenger car units.

“The NHAI identified this area near the aero restaurant as risk prone. Hence, view cutters will be installed. The project has been sent to NHAI headquarters for approval and work will start once it is received,” the official quoted above said.

“The decision of the NHAI to install view cutters is a welcome step. This will surely help prevent commuters from getting distracted by the sight of an aeroplane restaurant. In our road safety meeting held on Monday, we have also requested the NHAI to install more signage at the entry/exit points of the expressway,” said Virendra Kumar, additional deputy commissioner of police (traffic).

According to figures available with the traffic police, Ghaziabad district recorded 991 accidents in 2023, in which 365 people lost their lives. The district saw 886 accidents in 2022 with 363 fatalities and 824 accidents in 2021 with 392 fatalities, the data showed.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Peeyush Khandelwal writes on a range of issues in western Uttar Pradesh – from crime, to development authorities and from infrastructure to transport. Based in Ghaziabad, he has been a journalist for almost a decade.

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