Delhi: Dug-up roads, ongoing construction turns NH-24 into a deadly stretch

Massive construction work is on from Sarai Kale Khan to UP Gate as the road is being expanded as part of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway project. .

delhi Updated: Aug 27, 2017 00:09 IST
Abhinav Rajput
Abhinav Rajput
Hindustan Times
NH-24,national highway 24,meerut expressway
Massive construction work is on at NH-24 from Sarai Kale Khan up to UP Gate for the Delhi-Meerut .(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Dug-up roads, electric cables lying on the road, tin sheets and construction material forcing vehicles to abruptly apply brakes, workers jaywalking and no streetlights – National Highway-24 that connects Delhi and Ghaziabad has every ingredient to make it a deadly spot for pedestrians and vehicles.

A day after an accident on NH-24 killed a safety officer and injured two other workers after they were hit by a speeding car, Hindustan Times visited the stretch to see how safety norms are not being followed.

Massive construction work is on from Sarai Kale Khan to UP Gate as the road is being expanded as part of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway project. .

There are no sign boards at most detours, most street lights are non-functional and boulders and other stuff left on the middle of the road pose a risk to motorists.

Naveen Goel, who uses the stretch regularly to commute between his office in Connaught Place and his residence in Ghaziabad, said: “During night hours, it is very risky as most all streetlights do not function from Sarai Kale Khan till Mayur Vihar Phase II and drivers have to rely on the vehicles’ headlights,” he said.

Labourers work amid busy traffic. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Goel said barricades and boards keep on shifting everyday. “Once all of a sudden I saw a few policeman stopping cars at night in the middle of the road. Thankfully, I was driving slowly and a major accident was averted,” he said.

The stretches between Mayur Vihar Phase 2 and Sarai Kale Khan and near UP Gate are the most dangerous with construction workers jay walking, bikers dangerously using the space between dividers to cross the road and cranes stationed in the middle of the road forcing vehicles to swerve at the last moment.

“Cars come at a high speed and all of a sudden bikers try to change lanes using the space between the central verge. Shouldn’t such spaces be covered ? I you apply brakes or change lanes, there are high chances you will be hit from behind,” said Vijender Prakash, a resident of Mayur Vihar.

At night, this stretch becomes a death trap. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

PK Gupta, a resident of Laxmi Nagar, said, there is no proper mechanism to collect toll tax with toll workers jumping in front of cars to collect money.

“As vehicles enter from Ghaziabad to New Delhi, once can see people collecting toll tax in a very unorganised manner. They stand on the road side, identify commercial vehicles and suddenly ask them to stop. This may cause accidents if vehicles are speeding.”

S Velmurugan, head of the traffic engineering and safety division at CRRI, said, “Waste management on the stretch is zero and traffic management is very poor. There are no signboards at most detours. Tin sheets are used instead of concrete blocks, which is dangerous. If a speeding car hits them, vehicles will fall into the pit on the other side. These tin sheets too are not properly placed,” he said.

Most construction sites from Sarai Kale Khan till Ghaziabad have not been covered and not sprinkled with water because of which they become dusty.

A senior National Highway Authority of India official said , “It is not easy to do construction in such big projects when we have to ensure alternative routes for traffic flow. The volume of traffic is very high. We will try to put more signboards and other concerns will be looked into.”

“The reason behind improper barricading is that construction spots keep on shifting ...However, we are enhancing barricading and in the next few weeks, there will be improvement,” he said.

“We request people to follow the speed limit of 30 km per hour when they pass through construction area,” he said.

Water is not sprinked, leading to dust pollution. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Barricades at not placed properly. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Accidents can occur anytime, anyplace. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
The photo says it all. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Night driving is a nightmare. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Drive at your own risk here. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 00:08 IST