Monday, August 02, 2010

Safety of pedestrians is at risk on this stretch of NH 4

Safety of pedestrians is at risk on this stretch of NH 4

Anil Kumar Sastry
NHAI says it'll provide safe pedestrian crossings if need arises
— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

HAZARD:Crossing National Highway 4 at Jalahalli Cross in Bangalore has become difficult.

BANGALORE: Out of the 100 persons dying in road fatalities on National Highway 4 between Yeshwanthpur and Jindal Campus during the last three-and-a-half years, 64 were of pedestrians.

The reasons are many. The Yeshwanthpur-Nelamangala stretch of the national highway is one of busiest stretches in the city with thousands of passenger and goods vehicles entering and leaving the city.

The stretch is dotted by small, medium and large industries, including those located at the Peenya Industrial Estate.

Out of the lakhs of people using the stretch of the road every day, some unfortunate few become the victims of road fatalities in the process of crossing the busy highway.

12 in 2010

In 2007, there were 30 road accident deaths on the national highway falling under Yeshwanthpur and Peenya Traffic police limits. Of these deaths, 20 were of pedestrians.

The numbers increased to 41, including 30 pedestrians, in 2008. In 2009, 17 people, including eight pedestrians, lost their lives on this stretch.

Till June 2010, there were 12 road fatalities, including six pedestrians, according to the Bangalore City Traffic Police.

Herculean task

Gangamma, a garment factory worker in Peenya, said thousands of garment unit workers cross this busy stretch every day while reaching and leaving work.

“Crossing the road is a herculean task and it takes at least 15 minutes for safe crossing. In the bargain, a few hapless pedestrians have lost their lives,” she said.

An officer of the Traffic West division said that the NHAI should have provided at least three pedestrian crossings beneath the elevated highway. Jalahalli Cross, Dasarahalli Junction and Hessarghatta Junction witness heavy pedestrian crossings, and there was a need for pedestrian crossings at these places, the officer said.


A senior NHAI official noted that the authority is not averse to providing pedestrian crossings. The expectation, however, is that there will be a drastic shift in traffic volumes when the elevated highway is thrown open. Hence, the authority has adopted a wait and watch policy, the official said.

When pointed out that even after the elevated highway is commissioned, buses will continue to ply on the ground, the official said Bangalore Metro will provide pedestrian underpasses at four locations to connect its stations.

The Namma Metro's North-South corridor starts from Hessarghatta Cross and moves via Jalahalli Corss, Peenya and Yeshwanthpur.

If a need arises, NHAI will provide pedestrian underpasses at required places as the latest technology is available to construct underpasses with minimal disruption, he said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic West) Panduranga H. Rane said vehicular movement could be regulated at traffic junctions so as to provide safe pedestrian crossings.

At least five traffic signals with specific timing for pedestrian crossing will be commissioned at various locations beneath the elevated highway, according to Mr. Rane.


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