Doon ‘killer flyover’ to get more safety measures
DEHRADUN: The Balliwala flyover – often called the ‘killer flyover’ by locals – will get some additional features for the benefit of motorists after a safety audit earlier this month.
Besides Balliwala, Dehradun also has two more flyovers - one each at Ballupur Chowk and near Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), but the one at Balliwala has reported the maximum number of accidents. The two-lane flyover has claimed eight victims and left over a dozen injured after its inauguration in July last year.
The latest case was reported during the intervening night of November 23-24. Prior to this, it reported one fatality each in August and March and two in January, preceded by three in October last year. Officials blame rash driving, speeding, drink driving and driving without helmets for the fatalities.
In its September 4 edition, Hindustan Times highlighted how the locals demanded safety measures on the flyover which is “narrow” and has a “sharp curve” towards one of its ends. Subsequently, safety mesh were installed along either sides of the flyover.
On December 5, a team of independent road safety auditors and government officials inspected the flyover for a safety audit . Its report, which is now out, ruled out any technical fault but, at the same time, made a series of recommendations (see box) to make the flyover safer for motorists and commuters.
“Since it’s a double lane flyover, it is not possible to construct a divider between the two lanes. So the report has suggested installation of spring posts (which are flexible and rebound to their shape even after being hit) along the median. This will prevent motorists from overtaking on the flyover,” Hari Om Sharma, chief engineer of public works department’s national highways division, says.
Other measures suggested in the report include signboards (like that of speed limit or curve alert) to be put up on streetlight poles for better visibility and replacement of old and faded cat’s eyes (a retroreflective safety device used in road marking).
Since speeding is a key concern, the report notes there’s a need to control speed on the flyover. “We were asked to put in place a series of 5 mm-thick strips of thermo plastic (road marking paint) on the curvature part to give the feel of speed breakers to drivers,” Sharma says, adding the measures will be put in place “within a month’s time”.
The report calls for deployment of police and placement of roadside speed indicators on both ends of the flyover to check and penalise those violating the speed limit or involved in rash/drink driving. “The accidents have created fear in the minds of locals. We hope it becomes safer after these measures are followed,” says Mahesh Rawat, a retired central government employee who lives on GMS Road.