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One step from Dhoom to doom

This need for speed, lack of safety measures and regulations has claimed a number of lives over the last few years, reports Abhinav Kumar.

delhi Updated: Nov 27, 2007 02:12 IST
Abhinav Kumar

Some racing circuits need no pit stops and chequered flags. Highways around the Capital region turn into such dangerous circuits on an on and off basis, catering to the adrenaline seeking population.

This need for speed, lack of safety measures and regulations has claimed a number of lives over the last few years.

The Greater Noida Expressway, which has been christened as the Mecca of racers, has claimed a number of lives as a result of such racing. The roads that serve as racing tracks for these racers are used by normal traffic and pose numerous hazards.

Traffic light intersections are especially dangerous, as racers often have to dodge pedestrians and commuters to avoid losing time. Potholes, roadblocks and dividers are other prominent features on the Indian roads that discourage such feats.

“A racing vehicle is streamlined and very light. Manoeuvering such a delicate vehicle at such high speeds is extremely difficult and a small deviation can cause the bike to be air-borne,” said George, an automobile mechanic from Jangpura.

“It is strange the parents give racing motorcycles to children to drive on regular roads. These should be driven in the racing arena,” said R.K. Shishodia, a Sub-inspector from the Noida Police.

Lack of racing arenas and circuits and the rising rage for extreme sports in the country have led many highways such as the Greater Noida Expressway, DND Expressway and the Rohini highway turning into speed junctions.

While some chase speed for thrill, there exist others who use it to create a nuisance.

“Rowdy youngsters would race on Expresway on Saturdays and Sundays till about six months ago. We had complained to Kasna Police who had then seized some cars for unauthorised racing, putting the lives of other commuters to at risk,” said D.K.Garg, Chairman, Greater Noida's Ishan Institute of Management & Technology.

As security and patrolling is beefed up at one venue, bikers often find new routes that could provide a credible circuit to race on.

“The racing circuit in Delhi is very weak. As a result, youngsters form their own groups and get out on the streets trying stunts and racing.,” said Manu Srivastava, from Delhi Automotive Racing Academy.

“There were cases earlier near the Banglasaheb Gurudwara and Greater Noida Expressway. With the Police chasing the biking clubs around these areas, they are now known to frequent the Rohini locality,” Srivastava added.

With fancy racing machines being imported into the country, the youth now look for infrastructure to test their limits.

“As long as racing circuits are not provided to these racers, they will race wherever they sight a long stretch,” said Digvijay Singh, a student at a Noida institute.