By Krishnachand K | Express News Service | Published: 15th September 2017 11:10 PM |
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Safety is the basic factor that needs to be taken into consideration while constructing a building or for an infrastructure project. The development of Kazhakoottam-Mukkola stretch is one of the major infrastructure projects in the city which will turn the fortune of the city once complete. But it seems the contractor or National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is least bothered about the safety of motorists and the pedestrians. The incidents which took place in the past two weeks have cemented the fact that they are not.
T’Puram Express learned that NHAI is developing the road without adhering to any of the safety precautions at many points on the stretch. For instance, at Kuzhivila near Infosys campus, the newly constructed sewer is becoming a death trap for motorists. Many vehicles have fallen into it. Reason: Lack of danger sign boards, proper lighting system and unscientific installation of ribbons near the sewage. Two days ago, the wheel of a truck slipped into the sewer. On Thursday, a car also met with the same fate.
Though many vehicles pass through the under construction stretch, the most affected are the techies who reside along the stretch between Venpalavattom and Kazhakoottam.
This is a densely populated area and because of this accidents have become a usual affair, especially in the night. The absence of streetlights has further compounded the problem. Though techies approached the police regarding these problems, they got directed to NHAI. According to Rajeev Krishnan, secretary of Prathidhwani, it is 100 per cent unsafe to travel through this under construction highway.
“Around 10,000 IT employees who work at Technopark phase-II frequent this stretch. It is surprising that no sign boards have been installed along the stretch. The lighting system is also non-existent. The stretch has become dangerous for not only motorists but also pedestrians. Besides, the vehicles coming from Kulathoor road too are at a risk,” Rajeev said.
When contacted a top NHAI official said they will put in place safety measures to prevent any accidents in the future. However, the official blamed the motorists for being negligence. “We will take adequate measures for sure. But the motorists should also be careful while driving on a road which is under construction.
Since most part of the stretch is complete, motorists tend to speed. They don’t even bother to stop or slow down at points where the construction is going on. For instance, we have been demolishing a rock at Kuzhivila near MGM public school for the past one year. We are carrying out the construction without obstructing the traffic. However, we will set up effective safety measures at places which don’t have it,” said a top NHAI official.
Guidelines for NHAI regarding construction
As per the new norms formulated by the Indian Roads Congress for NH development, Road Safety Audit has to be carried out during all stages of road development ,from planning, design, construction, to operation. The roads should have 12-metre-wide medians with W-beam metal crash barriers at the edges, segregation of traffic, footpaths with railings, bus bays, adequately illuminated foot overbridges and underpasses and markings.
To make the roads safer, retro-reflective signages and markings should also be placed wherever it is required. A seven-meter wide service road with safety fence and railings has to be constructed for all multi-lane highways to segregate local traffic. A minimum illumination of 40 lux has been recommended for underpasses and foot overbridges on multi-lane highways. The state and the Centre have to provide adequate safety measures for the pedestrians and motorists to reduce the number of accidents