Few days after reports of cracks surfaced, residents and commuters on Tuesday expressed their disbelief on the condition of newly constructed elevated roads at Iffco Chowk in Gurgaon.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had asked the concerned contractor to look into the matter just a day after reports of cracks on elevated roads came.
“It’s a serious safety hazard. Authorities must act proactively in such issues to prevent road accidents and save lives. In India, we lose 1.5 lakh human lives on roads due to accidents and bad road infrastructure is one of the reasons behind this,” Rajkumar Yadav, road safety officer, Gurugram, said.
“These cracks appeared recently and I noticed them last week. I try to avoid them,” Hari Prakash, an MNC executive who crosses the elevated road from MG Road towards New Delhi at least once a day, said. The road opened to traffic on November 1 last year.
However, an NHAI engineer said that the construction of elevated roads was 100 per cent safe and the cracks appeared on roads due to rise in the temperature.
But, road safety experts didn’t buy the logic of the NHAI engineer.
“If the gaps are due to (a change in) temperature, it means it will increase during rains and winters posing a grave threat to commuters. Those responsible must be asked to explain,” said Anand Tayal, a Gurgaon-based road safety activist.
There was also a huge furore on the social media where people expressed their anger on the condition of elevated roads.
“Pressure of performance sometime yields bad results later,” posted Amit Bhardwaj, a resident, on Twitter.
Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI, Gurugram said that the contractor was asked to look into the matter and take necessary measures and construction joint is yet to be laid (there).
Contraction joints are used to regulate the locations where cracks appear by creating weak planes. They are responsible to restrict or minimise the cracks.
“These structures are located on an expressway where speed limits are very high. If a pothole or crack on the surface is found, then it will be very dangerous for two-wheelers as well as four-wheelers. They should at least be inspected on a daily or weekly basis by the NHAI and these stretches should be free of potholes and cracks for the safety of commuters,” said Gurpreet Singh Thakur, a road safety associate with Haryana Vision Zero, a programme to reduce road accidents.
“I will try to meet Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari and seek a thorough quality check of the structure and ask for penal action against the contractor and NHAI officials if something is wrong,” Raman Malik, state BJP spokesperson, said.