NHAI begins closing illegal, accident prone exits on Delhi-Jaipur highway
Officials said the exits near Sidhrawali village and the Hero factory were also closed, as they had become a major accident spot, with pedestrians and two-wheelers getting frequently hit while trying to cross the highway
To prevent accidents on the 242km-long Delhi-Jaipur national highway (NH-48), the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has started closing illegal exits, particularly on the Manesar-Masani Barrage stretch, officials said on Tuesday.
To start with, NHAI has closed 14 illegal exits between Daruhera and Masani Barrage on both sides of the road, while two additional exits — one at Sidhrawali and the other near Hero factory near Daruhera — have also been closed to prevent movement of vehicles from the service lane to the main carriageway or those who are trying to cross the highway, the authority said.
Officials said that owners of petrol pumps and roadside eateries usually make these exits illegally by filling drains on service roads or damaging the separators on the roadside to provide easy access to vehicles.
According to the Gurugram district administration, there are 50 such illegal exits on the highway between Kherki Daula to Masani barrage.
Last year, the highway authority and district administration had closed a few illegal exits, but this year’s exercise is more comprehensive, said officials.
“We have been working on closing the illegal exits as these have been created by dhaba owners, petrol pump owners and other such establishments to allow entry into their premises. This leads to unauthorised movement of vehicles and several accidents are caused as vehicles directly jump onto the main carriageways,” said Dheeraj Singh, project director, NHAI.
Officials said the exits near Sidhrawali village and the Hero factory — which are not blackspots — was closed, as they had become a major accident spot, with pedestrians and two-wheelers getting frequently hit while trying to cross the highway.
On November 11, four people were killed when an oil tanker hit a car and a pick-up van coming from the opposite side on Delhi-Jaipur highway near Sidhrawali village. On December 30 last year, a bus driver was killed and three others injured when a bus was hit by a truck near Sidhrawali.
The highway officials said that by closing these exits, the vehicles from service lanes will enter the main carriageway only through the authorised entry and exit provided legally.
Anil Sharma, highway contractor for the project, said that several business establishments had damaged the service road to ensure vehicles could come to their premises and then enter the main carriageway. In this process several portions of the highway drain had also been damaged, he said. “We are using earthmoving machines and tractors to clear these patches and repairing the road too ensure illegal entry and exit points are closed,” Sharma said.
According to Gurugram traffic police, there are five blackspots on the highway, including Panchgaon Chowk, Binola near Bilaspur, Narsinghpur cut, Iffco Chowk, and Rampur flyover. Nineteen people have died so far this year on these locations, while there were 42 serious accidents, according to traffic police data.
Experts said that closing the exits was crucial to prevent accidents and save lives.
Sarika Panda Bhatt, founder Raahgiri, who has been working with district administration on the issue, said, “Most of the people dying on the highway are either pedestrians or two-wheeler riders and they get caught in accidents while trying to cross the highway or while getting on the main carriageway. The intersections are not properly designed and there is a need to build foot over-bridges at Sidhrawali and at Hero cut as there are several near and misses on these points,” she said.