Saturday, September 12, 2009

No emergency exits on elevated highway

No emergency exits on elevated highway

Expert rejects such an idea, saying it will defeat the purpose of this high-speed track

But officials say Vehicles stuck on stretch can be towed to accident bays

Senthalir S. Bangalore

If you are stuck with emergency in the middle of the soon-to-be completed elevated road from Silk Board junction to Electronic City, don't expect immediate help. The 9-km stretch does not have a single 'emergency exit'.
"What if anybody is stuck in a traffic jam or faces some other problems in the middle of this elevated road," said Suresh H, a town planner.
There should be at least a couple of emergency exits along the road, which is going to be the longest elevated stretch in the city.
"There is need for such exits. There are chances of accidents as the stretch is access-controlled which means there will be more fast-moving vehicles on the road," said Keerthana M, a regular commuter from Electronic City.
However, officials from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), which is in charge of the project work, said there would accident bays and towing vehicles to rescue commuters in case of emergencies.
"The elevated roads will have additional lanes at the centre where, in case of accidents, the vehicles can be towed away. Besides, CCTV cameras will be installed on this stretch and arrangements will be made for routine patrolling," said Somashekar, manager (technical) of NHAI.
"There will be accident bays, where vehicles can be parked at the side," he said. "According to the Indian Road Congress, there should be accident bays at three to four places. They should be wider than the road to provide parking space for vehicles. Such bays are exclusively meant for these rescue operations," said PG Srinivasmurthy, a civic expert.
Elevated roads do not have exit or entry points in the middle for emergency purpose, said MN Sreehari, a traffic expert.
"If we construct exits and entry points, the very concept of elevated roads would be defeated as the stretch is exclusively for fast moving vehicles," he said.
The project began in July 2006 with a time-frame of two-and-a-half years. Later, the deadline was extended to March 2009. "Now, only 25% of work is left. It would be completed at the earliest," a NHAI official said.
NHAI officials said the Rs-775.7 crore project would have added features like highway traffic management system (HTMS), e-toll, emergency call boxes, variable message service (VMS), and reversible lanes.
The project is being executed through special purpose vehicle (Bangalore Elevated Tollway) BETL, created by the joint venture partners involving Maytas Infra, Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) and Soma Enterprises (SEL).


Post a Comment

<< Home