Over 700 road accidents have taken place on one stretch of NH1

Even as 70-odd foot overbridges across the Capital remain unused due to a variety of reasons, the absence of some on congested roads has been leading to frequent accident, many of them fatal. A case in point is Swaroop Nagar in North Delhi where over 70 lives have been lost since the widening of National Highway 1, which is also called the GT Karnal Road.

According to Parminder Singh of Swaroop Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association, the problem of accidents had accentuated since 2008, when the GT Karnal Road was made into an eight-lane-road. Over 700 road accidents have taken place on the stretch of NH1 abutting the colony since.

On Sunday, a large number of Swaroop Nagar residents staged a demonstration and blocked traffic on NHI to demand construction of a foot over bridge. Voicing their outrage, the protesters blocked traffic and alleged that despite assurances from the National Highway Authority of India that the construction of a foot over bridge would start in 2012, the project never took off.

“We have been demanding the construction of foot over bridge for quite some time now. Being a highway, the vehicular traffic itself is huge and most vehicles ply at a very high speed. Crossing NH1 here is inviting death and accidents have become a regular feature now. Most vulnerable are a large number of children who have to go to places such as Shalimar Bagh and Azadpur from Swaroop Nagar to attend their schools,” said Mr. Singh.

Expressing similar concerns, Dinesh Shama, a member of the Swaroop Nagar RWA said: “Almost 50,000-60,000 commuters from areas such as Bhagat Singh Park, Rana Park, Swaroop Nagar use the two Swaroop Nagar bus stops on either side of the road and it is understandable that they have to cross the road which is always full of vehicles and this poses a grave risk to their lives.”

Mr. Sharma added that in light of the fact that a hospital is also being proposed in the area, the construction of a foot over bridge has become imperative. “Last year 71 people lost their lives in various accidents on this road,” he said.

Sharing the concern of the residents, area legislator Devender Yadav too said that a foot over bridge should not be delayed further and that it has been a long standing demand of the people from his constituency for quite some time now. Mr. Yadav said he has taken up the issue with the Minister of Road Transport and Highways as the road comes under the NHAI.

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