Banish killer trucks to Capital's peripheral roads

Banish killer trucks to Capital's peripheral roads

Large cargo vehicles that enter the city at night are responsible for accidents

While the nature and cause of fatal accidents in the Capital varies, heavy commercial vehicles moving at breakneck speed on highways cutting through Delhi, are one of the major reasons for several accidents.

Government urban planners and traffic police officials say the City needs bypass roads to divert traffic of large commercial vehicles from the Capital.

Two peripheral expressways – western and eastern peripheral expressways – have been planned by the Centre to decongest traffic in Delhi. But the projects, which were mooted in 2006, have only remained on paper. Traffic police officials say the expressways will help to a great extent in reducing the number of fatal accidents.

“Once the expressways become operational, only those commercial vehicles that have to pick up or unload goods in the city will enter Delhi. Other trucks that wait through the day to cross Delhi at night will not have to do so,” said Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic).

Currently, the number of cargo vehicles entering Delhi is huge, which adds to the traffic volume at night. They also lead to several fatal accidents.

Of the total number of fatal accidents that happen at night, accidents on National Highways cutting across Delhi make a high percentage of the fatalities.

In 2011, there were 112 deaths in 111 fatal accidents on the 22-kilometre stretch between Singhu border and GT Karnal Road on NH-1 alone.

While the traffic police say identifying the exact reason of such accidents is difficult, witnesses’ accounts in several cases point at involvement of commercial vehicles that enter the city only at night. These speeding trucks have mowed down several motorcyclists and pedestrians at night.

The idea of bypass roads was mooted after the Supreme Court asked for two peripheral expressways around the Capital to decongest its roads from inter-state traffic. The Centre had approved it in 2006, and it was supposed to be completed by 2010.

The 135-km-long Eastern Peripheral Expressway or Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal road will bypass Delhi from the east. Similarly, the Western Peripheral Expressway or Kundli-Manesar-Palwal road, which is of equal length, will bypass Delhi from the west.

As both expressways are proposed to have the same entry and exit points, they will form a ring around the Capital.