Gurugram: The Gurugram Police on Saturday wrote to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and instructed the agency to immediately install escalators at three foot overbridges (FOBs) on National Highway-48. Police said the FOBs will help reduce the number of accidents on the 25km-long stretch.
Police said the decision was taken after a traffic team analysed accident data on Friday and found that a majority of pedestrians did not the FOBs as it involved climbing a number of stairs. Police added that most pedestrians prefer darting across busy roads, leading to accidents and deaths.
“We will follow the clauses mentioned in the contracts with the concessionaires,” said an NHAI official.
Kala Ramachandran, the newly appointed police commissioner, said that the FOBs must have escalators so that they are accessible. “We held a meeting with traffic personnel and visited the spots where overbridges have been constructed. We saw people avoiding the stairs and preferring to jaywalk,” she said.
Police have identified three FOBs that need escalators at the earliest. “There are two foot overbridges between Hero Honda Chowk and Kherki Daula toll plaza, and one between Rajiv Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk. They are hardly used by pedestrians,” said Ravinder Tomar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic).
Tomar said when traffic police asked pedestrians why they were staying away from the FOBs, most said it was an uphill task to climb the huge number of stairs.
There are many areas across Gurugram where traffic gets jammed due to jaywalkers. Police said they were forced o install iron grills on road dividers to get jaywalkers to desist. at more than 10 spots.
According to Gurugram traffic police’s records, 151 pedestrians lost their lives in 2020, and 122 lost their lives last year in road accidents. Since January 1 this year, nine pedestrians have already lost their lives while crossing roads.
Gurugram traffic police are also trying to beautify underpasses that pedestrians usually avoid due to a lack of lights and safety issues.
Ramachandran said that police will ensure that these underpasses are well-maintained so they can be used by pedestrians.
“People returning from work avoid using the underpasses as they are not properly lit and are unclean. Someone has to take responsibility and ensure that the underpasses are well-lit and cleaned every day,” Ramachandran added.
DCP (traffic) Tomar said they will write to the NHAI again to resolve the issues with the underpasses at the earliest. The Gurugram Police is also planning to draw the NHAI’s attention to drainage issues in the underpasses during the monsoon season.