Road safety measures for six accident prone spots in Gurugram to be reviewed next weekUpdated: Aug 27, 2020, 23:38 IST
Gurugram: Measures taken by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Gurugram traffic police to reduce accidents and casualties at the city’s six most critical black spots — Shankar Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk, Khandsa, Bilaspur Chowk and Sidhrawali cut — will be reviewed by Gurugram deputy commissioner Amit Khatri in next week’s district road safety committee meeting, officials said Thursday.
All six spots are located on National Highway 48. For each of these spots, recommendations were given by Haryana Vision Zero (HVZ)— a Haryana government program on road safety now defunct—in February this year, and Khatri has asked various departments, mainly NHAI and the Gurugram traffic police, to submit an action report where steps they have taken to reduce fatalities at these spots would be highlighted.
A road stretch is termed as a black spot if more than five fatalities are recorded in a 500-metre stretch over a three-year period.
Going by data from HVZ, the number of road fatalities recorded at Shankar Chowk between 2016 and 2019 was 12, 17 at Rajiv Chowk, 16 at Hero Honda Chowk, 22 at Khandsa, 17 at Bilaspur Chowk, and seven at Sidhrawali cut.
“I have directed the agencies concerned to submit the action they have taken at each of the six stretches, in the next district road safety committee meeting. Our main objective is to reduce the number of accidents across the city and identify areas which are prone to them and subsequently undertake necessary steps to reduce them,” said Khatri.
According to district administration officials, the meeting is scheduled for next week but a final date will be decided depending on the availability of the deputy commissioner and other officials. They further said the meeting will be conducted via video conference.
Sarika Panda Bhatt, former programme coordinator with HVZ and a road safety expert, who is part of the district road safety meetings, said for each of these points, various recommendations for reducing accidents and fatalities were submitted by HVZ, however, most of them are yet to be implemented.
Bhatt said some of the recommendations made by HVZ were to install traffic signals and mark pedestrian crossings at some of the black spots and to provide pedestrian amenities wherever possible.
“For both Rajiv Chowk and Shankar Chowk, we had asked authorities to install a traffic signal below the flyover so that pedestrians can cross the junction without much difficulty and also to paint and mark crossings. With residential areas, located on both sides of Bilaspur Chowk, we had recommended installation of a foot over-bridge (FOB) as there is no pedestrian amenity there and people were crossing the main highway amid traffic,” said Bhatt.
None of these recommendations have been implemented on-ground, said Sarika.
HVZ was a program of the Haryana government compromising private and government road safety experts and engineers for reducing accidents across the state. The program was privately funded. Due to lack of funds, however, it ceased operations in April.
She said although based on HVZ’s recommendations, at Hero Honda Chowk and IFFCO Chowk, traffic signals have been installed, both were often found to be not working.
“At Khandsa, which has the highest number of fatalities in the city, NHAI has installed an FOB earlier this year, based on HVZ’s recommendation, but the structure still does not have a direct power connection. Hence, the escalators are not working and a large number of pedestrians are not able to avail of the facility,” said Bhatt.
At both the Sidhrawali cut and Bilaspur Chowk, HVZ had stated that the stretches are not properly fenced which is not only enabling pedestrians to cross the main highway on foot but also resulting in two-wheelers criss-crossing from one side of the highway to other, which can lead to accidents.
“At both Rajiv chowk and Hero Honda Chowk flyover, underpasses for non-motorised transport (NMT) are already complete. At Shankar Chowk, an elevated u-turn is under construction. After its completion, a large number of local traffic will shift to arterial stretches and there will be a major reduction in the volume of vehicles on service roads of the national highway. The service road and arterial roads will be both separated through permanent barriers which will result in a reduction of accidents,” said Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI.
Despite repeated calls, DCP (traffic), Chander Mohan remained unavailable for comment.