Another highway, same story: Spate of mishaps

Sep 06 2013, 01:33 IST
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SummaryWhen it was inaugurated in August 2012, the Yamuna Expressway was touted as India’s first fully access-controlled, eight-lane expressway, a model for others to follow

When it was inaugurated in August 2012, the Yamuna Expressway was touted as India’s first fully access-controlled, eight-lane expressway, a model for others to follow. But like the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, the 185-km highway connecting Greater Noida with Agra too has been beset by accidents.

Since it entered service, 68 people have lost their lives and 193 more have been injured in accidents. Senior Jaypee group officials blame the accidents on negligent driving. The Jaypee group is the builder and concessionaire of the expressway.

“For two months before the expressway opened, we ran extensive advertising campaigns on all media platforms, not only promoting the expressway but also spreading awareness on the rules that must be followed. On the expressway, there are signs that indicate the lanes as well as the speed limits. However, most commuters disregard these blatantly,” said Askari Zaidi, Senior Vice President, Jaypee group.

Jaypee group officials said they run periodic campaigns on tyre quality as several accidents have been attributed to burst tyres. “The Automotive Tyre Management Association carried out a drive recently, where commuters were educated about the appropriate speeds as well as tyre management on high-speed roads such as the Yamuna Expressway,” Zaidi said.

Sources, however, said lack of communication between Jaypee group officials and the district police was proving an obstacle in curbing overspeeding. “The initial plan was, all vehicles caught overspeeding would be stopped at the next toll and prosecuted. But this has not happened because of absence of police personnel on the expressway and at the toll plazas. The infrastructure is there but it is not being used by police,” a Noida Authority official said.

Police claimed measures were in place to deal with errant drivers.

ACCIDENTS

2012

Month Dead Injured

Aug. 9 12

Sept. 5 6

Oct. 2 2

Dec. NA 6

2013

Jan. 6 19

Feb. 1 30

March 3 6

April 1 NA

May 3 17

June 8 17

July 16 33

Aug. 14 45

Total 68 193

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