The highway death trap

June 17th, 2009

Jamshedpur, June 15: Travelling on the NH-33 stretch between Dhalbhumgarh and Bahragora in the Ghatshila sub-division had never been so dangerous — not even when it was dotted with potholes and craters before repair work was undertaken.

The 40km stretch has now turned into a death trap with 17 accidents, two of them fatal, having taken place since it was renovated and strengthened a fortnight ago, thanks to uneven levelling.

While undertaking the repair work, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had raised the road surface by four to six inches, but one of the road sides was not elevated. The level of this flank is lower than the road surface by about 14 inches to one feet.

As a result, during overtaking, vehicles, particularly small cars and two-wheelers, lose balance and skid because of loose gravel. At times, buses and trucks also meet a similar fate.

Truckers say it becomes difficult to control the vehicle when its rear or front wheel goes down on this uneven flank and it overturns. Chances of accident increase after dusk.

Sarda Vinayak, the deputy secretary of the department of road construction (national highway), Ranchi, said: “We had raised the road level considerably to facilitate smooth flow of water during monsoon as there is no drains on either side of the highway. If the surface was made even, waterlogging would have resulted, damaging the bitumen.”

“But this does not mean that we are not bothered about commuters’ safety. I will soon recommend a site inspection of the road. And if it is found to be defective, necessary action will be taken,” he said.

Entry Filed under: Delhi

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