Even four days after a pillion rider on a motorcycle died following a collision with a car at an ill-lit underpass located near Medanta Medicity Hospital, authorities have failed to provide proper lighting inside the underpass. The 30 year old deceased has been identified as Chander Bahadur Thapa, a resident of Darjeeling, who worked as a cook in a local restaurant. Thapa’s friend Shiv, a resident of Nepal, who was driving the motorcycle, has been seriously injured.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has conceded that it will take at least a week to provide a connection (at the underpass) from Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN).
“Earlier this month, NHAI had written to DHBVN about providing electricity connection to the underpass. Work is expected to start from next week onwards and in the interim two sets of diesel generators are being used to power the lights on a temporary basis,” said Saurabh Singhal, traffic transportation expert (NHAI) and head of the underpasses at Rajiv Chowk, Signature Towers and IFFCO Chowk.
When asked about the absence of round the clock lighting at the underpass, Singhal replied, "Gawar Construction Ltd, the contractor of the underpass has no obligations or commitments in this regard. As per the agreement they were only responsible for the installation of the facility.”
For residents taking the unidirectional underpass on a regular basis, the only way to gain proper visibility is by switching on headlights, regardless of the time of the day.
“Prior to entering the underpass, I ensure that my car headlights are switched on, or otherwise I wouldn’t be able to properly navigate my way and spot vehicles coming from the opposite direction,” said Anoop Singh, a resident of Sector 38.
Speaking to City Spidey, other regular commuters have said that a portion of the underpass (completely dark) where the road starts curving towards the right is particularly susceptible to minor accidents.
“The drivers are unable to spot the turning and end up colliding with the adjacent pavement," informed Navneet Singhi, a resident of DLF Phase 2.
Incidentally, in a meeting held with civil engineers on February 22, Deputy Commissioner, Vinay Pratap Singh had said that a road action plan needs to be prepared, especially in the light of accidents and mishaps reported on newly opened underpasses.
The underpass located near Medanta Medicity Hospital was opened to traffic on August 14, 2017.