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Gurugram authorities pass the buck on removing burnt cars that block roads

NHAI, traffic police, fire department and MCG pass the buck on who must tow these vehicles that met unfortunate ends.

gurgaon Updated: Jul 04, 2018 15:25 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram,NHAI,traffic congestion in Gurugram
A burnt car at Sector 62, near Ullawas village, in Gurugram, Haryana. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Last year on September 1, three men, all residents of Palra village, were burnt to death after their sedan caught fire in Sector 62 near Ullahawas village. Six months later, barely 500metres away from this spot, a similar incident took place in which a taxi driver was charred to death when his car spontaneously burst into flames.

The investigations initiated into the two incidents were closed long ago, but the remains of the charred cars continue to sit in the same spot, serving as constant reminders of the unfortunate incidents and the fate of its victims.

These gutted vehicles, however, are not the only ones that ominously dot the city. HT checked three spots where charred vehicles have been abandoned and result in nightmarish congestion on roads, worsening Gurugram’s traffic woes.

The first spot is among the busiest junctions in the city, Subhash Chowk. Here, not one, but two charred cars have partially blocked lanes in different spots—one near the Convergys office, and the other near a CNG filling station.

The second spot is opposite the Star Mall in Sector 31. The burnt vehicle, abandoned in a service lane of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway near Exit No.8, obstructs merging of traffic coming from the Signature Tower and with that from Sector 31.

The third spot, near the Tau Devi Lal Stadium, bears testimony to the chaos an abandoned vehicle can unleash. The charred car sits just a few meters before the entrance into the unidirectional underpass, which is a signal-free, high-speed passage for commuters travelling towards New Delhi on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. The burnt vehicle appears as a sudden obstruction and thus, reduced the efficiency of the structure, commuters said.

“The burnt vehicle lies just a few metres before the mouth of the underpass. Although it is in the extreme left lane, many commuters who try to overtake slower vehicles have to supply apply brakes or switch their lane to avoid a collision,” Sector 47 resident Dinesh Singh said.

A burnt car seen at Sector 34 near CNG pump, in Gurugram. HT checked three spots in the city where charred vehicles have been abandoned and result in nightmarish congestion on roads. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

When various authorities in Gurugram were asked whose responsibility was it to remove these vehicles, they simply passed the buck.

“Lifting the car depends on the area where it lies. If it is located on the expressway then traffic police provides assistance to the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) to lift charred vehicles. However, in the rest of the city, no particular body has been authorized to remove these vehicles. It is only when they become a traffic nuisance that the traffic police removes them in accordance with the concerned authority,” ACP (traffic) Sandeep Malik said.

However, officials from the fire department contradicted this claim stating that the responsibility singularly rests with the traffic police.

“If the owner of the burnt vehicle does not remove the vehicle from the spot, then the traffic police is responsible for seizing the vehicle and placing it in the compound of the nearest police station. The fire department has no role in lifting such vehicles,” fire safety officer Satyawan Samriwal said.

According to the traffic police officials, removing charred vehicles from roads was the responsibility of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), which has 15 cranes that it uses to tow vehicles.

The MCG officials, however, said that while they lend cranes to the traffic police on a periodic basis and also themselves lift vehicles from no-parking zones, they aren’t responsible for lifting burnt vehicles from roads unless directed to do so.

“The MCG has hired private contractors that assist Gurugram police in lifting vehicles that are parked in a way that encroaches upon the main road or parked in no-parking zones. The MCG can lift burnt vehicles if the Gurugram Police issues such an order,” an MCG official in the administration wing said.

First Published: Jul 04, 2018 15:24 IST