Two roundabouts along Chandigarh’s Vikas Marg continue to be the most accident-prone parts in the city for the past five years due to road engineering faults which, apart from human negligence, caused most of the accidents there so far, say experts.
The Sector 45/46/49/50 and Sector 51/52/44/45 light points are the busiest traffic junctions of the city as they lead to ISBT in Sector 43 and towards Mohali. On Monday night, 19 people were injured in an accident at the Sector 45/46/49/50 light point, when a Punjab Roadways bus was hit by a speeding car. Eight people were killed on Vikas Marg in 2018, and six fatal casualties were reported in 2017 at these two light points.
Harman Sidhu, a road safety expert, said, “There is a major road engineering fault along Vikas Marg as the level of the two opposite roads is not equal. Moreover, roads coming from Mohali side are at a downward slope, which automatically increases the speed of vehicles coming from the Mohali side. A common factor among most road mishaps on Vikas Marg is that these accidents happen during night hours, when traffic signals are put on blinking mode by the Automatic Traffic Control (ATC) system.”
He also claimed, “The issue of sorting out the road engineering fault was once taken up with the UT engineering department after the deaths of five persons on Vikas Marg in 2014. However, the then chief engineer hushed up the suggestion, maintaining that Vikas Marg comes under the National Highways Authority of India.”
While SSP (Traffic) Shashank Anand was not available for comment, a DSP rank officer with the traffic police said, “The suggestion of putting two light points on the Automatic Traffic Control system was implemented in 2015. This particular road remains busy throughout the day as ISBT 43 and the entrance to Mohali are linked to this road. The ATC system ensures that people watch, wait and then move at any traffic signal. However, when the signals are put on blinking mode, everyone wants to cross the road without waiting for vehicles coming from the opposite side. In fact, the number of road accidents throughout the city has decreased over the last five years, even at these two light points. Yet, these light points are vulnerable to road accidents.”
Sources said that in 2015, overgrown shrubs and trees on the green belt of Sector 51/52/44/45 that blocked the view of the opposite side of the road, were cleared in an effort to decrease road accidents on the route.