To prevent accidents due to illegal exits, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to close all illegal exits between Panipat and Jalandhar on the National Highway-44. This time, the NHAI will fix these exits permanently by erecting cast-in-situ new jersery crash barriers.
A sum of Rs 10 crore will be spent on the work. The NHAI has allotted a tender to an agency, which has to complete this work in six months.
Permanent barriers will be erected at these illegal exits between the main carriageway and service lanes.
“The NHAI has allotted work to close all illegal exits at the cost of Rs 10 crore. We are hopeful the agency will start work in the first week of May,” said Bhanu Pratap, site engineer, NHAI.
Based on the report of the Integrated Road Accident Database (iRAD) system, a mobile app to identify accident-prone areas and also to rectify the road-related flaws that lead to accidents, the NHAI has started the process to verify and identify the illegal exits. However, the actual number of the exits is yet to be determined.
“We have started the process to identify the illegal exits and their permanent closing will reduce the number of accidents,” the site engineer added.
The district road safety committees of almost all districts have raised the issue of illegal exits at monthly meetings, after which the NHAI has taken this step.
Sandeep Lather, member of the Karnal Road Safety Committee, said illegal exits posed threat to commuters as they were not aware of any unauthorised exits from where vehicles could suddenly enter the highway and result in accidents. Several business establishments have taken the CLU to operate their business and it was the duty of the NHAI to give them access to the highway, for which entry and exit points should be made on each and every flyover, he demanded.
Anish Yadav, Deputy Commissioner Karnal, said the issue of accidents was discussed at the road safety meetings and illegal cuts was the main reason behind the fatal accidents, after which the NHAI officials had been told to close all illegal exits. Ten illegal exits have been identified in the Karnal district limits and the process to close these was on.