January 24, 2015 2:14:29 am
The 28-km Delhi-Gurgaon expressway witnessed 300 accident-related deaths last year due to a flawed design that has compromised safety on the highway, a road safety expert told the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday.
Safety expert Navdeep Kumar Asija was quoting from figures with the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. A majority of the deaths were of pedestrians and cyclists, he said.
A special division bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Ajay Tewari then directed the Haryana government to file its reply on the issue by February 27.
The High Court had sought Asija’s help after taking suo motu notice of the issue of developing vehicle-free zones in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. On Friday, Asija told the court that when the expressway was built in 2007-08, necessary infrastructure to ensure safety of pedestrians and cyclists was not built, allegedly to profit the concessionaire.
Asija requested the High Court to start criminal proceedings against the officers and authorities concerned, including the concessionaire and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Asija further told the court that the expressway had been designed for a 35-year period when it was opened on January 23, 2008.
However, within six years, there is now a proposal to further develop the expressway at a cost of Rs 760 crore.
He said this work is being undertaken jointly by the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation and NHAI.
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