1000 Delhiites are killed every year by trucks
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1000 Delhiites are killed every year by trucks

Yet the city is doing nothing about it. How many people must die before Delhi gets an expressway to keep out killer trucks?

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 19:44 IST

It wasn’t a stray truck that killed Sumit Tiwari, Jhanvi Rai and Mamata Tyagi on Saturday night. The Haryana-registered truck most probably had no business being in Delhi. Some 60,000 such trucks enter the Capital every day. Some of them go on to kill Delhiites at the rate of about 1,000 a year.

They are not known to discriminate. They kill children going to school, teenagers playing gully cricket, householders returning home from work and whosoever comes in their way. Labourers sleeping on the road- side are their favourite victims. About a decade ago, Congress politician Eduardo Faleiro lost some of his family members in an accident.

There is only one way of end- ing this killing spree: an express- way which will keep the trucks out of the city and on their way to wherever they are headed. They will not enter Delhi; they will not kill Delhiites.

A solution as simple as this should have found favour with the traffic planners. But it took the Supreme Court to order that non-Delhi destined goods vehicles should not enter the Capital. The govern ments of Haryana, UP and Delhi came up with a plan to construct a ring around Delhi — a third Ring Road in the form of 270 km long Western and Eastern expressways.

Despite the apex court asking for a status report time and again, work on the expressways has progressed at a snail’s pace. The SC had directed that it be completed in five years, with 2008 as the deadline.

The contract for the 136-km Eastern Expressway (passing through Ghaziabad, Muradnagar) is still to be awarded. The 135-km Western Expressway (through Kundli, Manesar, Palwal) will be constructed by the NHAI through private contractors.

In the meantime, trucks continue to kill. “As many as 600 fatal accidents in 2004 were by unknown vehicles,” said Joint CP Qamar Ahmed. “These were at night and our analysis suggests goods ve hicles from outside Delhi were behind these accidents.”

First Published: Feb 18, 2006 19:44 IST