Being a fairly new area as compared to other parts in Delhi, all roads and service lanes in Dwarka are wide and well paved. However, the sub-city's speed breakers belie this impression. The standard practice here is creating speed breakers in front of every society and in service lanes. And it is the residents who construct them.
Although illegal, this in itself would not have been much of a problem had the speed breakers been as per specifications laid down by Indian Roads Congress. And with time, more such "bumps" have been cropping up across the sub-city.
"There are stretches where there are five speed breakers for five societies on a 50-m lane," said Anjana Pandey, a social activist and resident of Dwarkadheesh Apartments, Sector 12. "But that's not all — each of the breakers is of a different size."
A resident of Sector 4, Vikas Kumar, said, "There are seven speed breakers in the 50m-stretch between Harmony Apartments in Sector 4 and the road between sectors 4 and 12. Some are so high that driving over them grazes a car's undercarriage."
Over the past few months, speed breakers have come up in various parts Dwarka, such as in the service lanes near Ekta society in Sector 3, the Rishikul International School towards the intersection of sectors 6 and 7, and the Sector 5 market.
"Residents don't want cars speeding through their locality, and hence get these speed breakers constructed," said Seema Singh, a resident of Sector 6.
Vishal Gupta, a resident of Lovely Home Apartments in Sector 5, explains, "The practice is against the law, but everybody wants their neighbourhood to be safe from speeding cars. My suggestion to the RWAs is that they construct speed breakers near the society gates, instead of in the service lanes. That way, they can at least ensure that cars exiting from the society gate won't crash into vehicles in the service lane."
However, it is not just the speed breakers in the service lanes that are a problem — even the DDA-constructed master plan roads are far from convenient.
Most of them are devoid of the mandatory black-and-white paint, making them difficult to spot in the dark. The breakers near the Sector 6/10/11/5 intersection in front of the DDA nursery; that in front of Akshardham Apartments near Kargil Chowk; and that near Ashirvad Chowk on Road No 202 are some of the examples. "My car has jumped over these speed breakers so many times," said Sanjeev Das, a resident of Sector 10. "The traffic police should get them painted. They are quite dangerous."
According to DDA officials, rules permit the construction of speed breakers only outside schools, hospitals and a few other strategic locations, with a maximum height of 10 cm. The reality, however, is for everyone to see.