#publicsafety – Why we need good #roads ? – @pmoindia @MORTHIndia

Sanjay Chaturvedi
Why do we need good roads? The question seems to be a funny one? Yes, it seems. But going by the ground realities most of us would at least be forced to think about the issues. We all are usually found complaining about the poor condition of roads. Speaking about Delhi and National Capital Region most of the Delhi was taken care of in the period of Commonwealth Games, leaving behind traces of unprecedented corruption. But here my concentration is not on corruption. The point is that in the last 5 to 10 years the NCR and even more than that has witnessed a good rising trend in terms of number of roads called as ‘good’ at least to the Indian standards. People now make new records breaking their own older one of reaching their destinations. For better and smooth commuting we are even ready to pay toll on the roads we use. While many of the new developments are on BOT basis, almost every new highways or connecting roads are made on BOT making people pay to use the particular segment of road. None of us mind too much about it because most of the literate people think that the development has a cost which being a responsible citizen, we should share our part. But the point which most of us do not notice is the cops guarding at most of the good roads to extract money from the road users. Here I am not talking about the bribe a person has to pay for a safe way out from a difficulty. It is about the smooth roads which prompt most of us to accelerate more than we do while driving on the city roads. Since usually we all have to face traffic jams, crawling traffic moving hardly on 15 or 20 KMPH of speed, we tend to press on accelerator once we found smooth road free of jam. Usually these are the highways or the outer roads of the city. But the moment you press on the accelerator and you start enjoying your favorite music, a traffic cop comes into your sight asking you to stop. An interceptor is installed nearby which you must have obviously missed while enjoying the ride. Now it is the turn of cop to enjoy. First he asks for your driving license, which you cannot deny in any case. Now you are told that the speed limit on this ‘wonderful road’ is only 50 and you are told that you were driving at 70. Funny Na? Yes that’s the point. While our governments were busy in making estimates of making the roads, that too on BOT, no one thought of revising the speed limit prescribed on these ‘to be roads of world standards’. It is the same story you drive past Dhaula Kuan towards Azad Pur only to find the cops hiding themselves in the nearby trees to caught most of the speeding commuters. These are the commuters who have been crawling in the traffic from Motibagh to Dhaula Kuan and finally finding some breathing space has increased their speed to reach the destination in time. Same is the case with the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. While the speed limit is set at 100 (thankfully) on most of the part of this road, there are cops trying to catch you red handed driving at 105? Yes, you have no liberty to enjoy the good roads. Let’s take another example of Badarpur Flyover. For decades people have been struggling through the famous traffic chaos of Badarpur border. After the long wait the Flyover was made with much fanfare. In spite of feeling the pinch of the toll tax here also, the people were happy. But the cops from Delhi Traffic Police are smart enough to snatch away your smile. As soon as you get down in Delhi from the flyover, the team of Delhi traffic police is eagerly waiting to welcome you with their interceptor and the hand held challan machines. You are very honestly told that the speed limit on the flyover is 50 and you were driving at 58. Ha Ha ha. For what are we using flyover then? Just prior to the flyover the people used to crawl sometimes at 20 to 30 kmph. But there is no one to rescue them from this situation. Immediately after paying the toll, everyone rushes as it participating in a motor race but only to be welcomed by the cops with a challan in your hand. So the question here is that was the flyover made to let people drive on a speed below 50? Is it a mockery of the space age or are we all literate fools to go by the guidelines laid probably by a set of fools in fact?
One of my friends was driving on the toll road on Hodal-Agra route. Finding good road, he increased the speed of his SUV. But soon he was signaled by a cop only to ask for some money in lieu of not issuing challan of a higher amount. Many of my friends commuting on this route must be knowing that the route is still under process of six-laning of National Highway 2. So when the process is still not completed is it correct to stop people for violation of speed limit? Once the roads are finalised and new speed limits are duly highlighted on the roadsides, the role of cops starts. Since a new person cannot imagine that such a wide road is designated for a speed limit of 50 or 60 how can he be penalized? I wish all my intellectual friends would agree to the issue raised in the article and would spread the word till it reaches the highest seat of decision making. We have to break the ice. We have to think differently. We have to question the rules made in the times of ‘Baba Aadam’. Think differently…

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