Will Haryana get a break from illegal speed-breakers?

Chandigarh, May 16 (IANS) The Haryana government may claim the state is on the rapid road to progress but the ground reality, literally, is bumpy. Now officials want to check the mushrooming speed-breakers on highways.

With numerous complaints piling up regarding the unauthorized speed-breakers on highways, the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar wants to remove them.

Over the years, hundreds of speed-breakers have come up on national and state highways as well as other roads in an unauthorized manner. Most have been built by residents and panchayats along the highways to slow down the speed of vehicles for fear of causing accidents.

Concerned over the illegal speed breakers which themselves are causing accidents and damaging vehicles, Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar has directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to remove all such speed-breakers.

“There has been no curbs on illegal speed-breakers over the years. Their number is in hundreds and they are a big nuisance for motorists,” Hissar-based trader Suresh Gupta told IANS.

The under-belly of Gupta’s Honda City car got damaged recently from one such speed-breaker.

“These not only cause accidents as speeding motorists are unaware of their existence but also damage vehicles as these are constructed without any technical parameters,” Gupta said.

Motorists using highways in Haryana rue the fact that successive governments have chosen to ignore the nuisance.

“Highways are meant for hassle-free driving. In many parts of Haryana, you can get a number of speed-breakers even in a 10-km stretch. Motorists have a horrible time,” college student Abhimanyu from Sirsa town said.

Officials say they cannot do much due to political reasons.

“The politicians turn a blind eye to this nuisance as the village Panchayats get annoyed if the speed-breakers are removed. Then political leaders put pressure on local officials not to remove them,” an officer in the Rohtak district administration told IANS.

In July 2014, then PWD Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala told the Haryana assembly that “several unauthorized speed-breakers close to habitations, schools, have been erected on national and state highways.

“Most of these unauthorized speed breakers do not follow the specifications and are a traffic hazard because of the abrupt angles of construction.”

As per central government policy, no speed-breakers can be constructed on national highways. The policy states that only rumble strips, of specific size, can be built where speed control is required.

According to the Indian Road Congress, a speed-breaker should be only four inches high, one metre broad and with a slope of 1.25 metres. Road signs and markings are mandatory to warn motorists about speed-breakers.

In the past, the government removed some speed-breakers but people re-constructed new ones within days.

The important national highways (NH) passing through Haryana include NH-1 (Delhi-Ambala-Amritsar), NH-2 (Delhi-Agra-Varanasi-Dankuni), NH-8 (Delhi-Jaipur-Ahmedabad-Mumbai), NH-10 (Delhi-Hisar-Fazilka-Indo-Pakistan border) and NH-73 (Panchkula-Roorkee).

The problem is not only with highways and roads in Haryana’s interior areas. Even Gurgaon city, adjoining the national capital, has to deal with unauthorized speed-breakers.

The Haryana government recently identified 1,051 locations where speed-breakers were genuinely required. A total of 915 speed breakers have been installed and work was in progress on the rest, Panwar said.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at jaideep.s@ians.in)



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