PM Modi Inaugurates India’s 1st Smart-Green Highway: Eastern Peripheral Expresswayby Opinion Express May 28, 2018 0 comments
People are welcoming new highways but we still need to more cautious regarding our selfish driving techniques to avoid accidents.
The latest highway for Delhi will not even pass through the city. The Eastern Peripheral Highway, half of an outer-outer Ring Road for the city, was built by the National Highways Authority of India in a record period. This is a road that successive Governments planned to build, but put it on the backburner for decades. The expressway will possibly curb the pollution and traffic crisis precipitated by tens and thousands of heavy vehicles that entered into the city on a daily basis. For this road and the first phase of the New Delhi-Meerut Expressway, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 27, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari deserves all the praise. He has proven himself to be one of the most efficient Ministers of the current Government, even though his promise to clean 70 per cent of the Ganga by 2019 might be a step too far even for him.
While all these new roads are a fabulous achievement, they have to be backed with better traffic management and control of people who break the law. Time and again, Indians have proven to be spectacularly inept whenever presented with world-class infrastructure, thanks to the poor quality of education and extreme selfishness. Accidents, thanks to vehicular traffic travelling the wrong way or stopping willy-nilly on the side of the road, are far too common. The complete and total lack of fear of getting punished is one reason why this continues. Just look around on the roads, there is rampant practice of triple-riding which has almost become de rigueur. Besides half the two-wheeler population do not use helmets. On the fabulous Taj and Yamuna Expressways, accidents are common because people, in their quest to save a few rupees, equip their cars with retreaded tires or believing urban myths by illiterate mechanics, put tubes inside tubeless tires which burst on the Expressway. This fatalistic attitude towards our roads have made them the most dangerous roads in the world.
One can only hope that with more and better roads as well as increased ‘value’ of life, the public at large will start behaving themselves on roads. India is finally building world-class, modern infrastructure but it is also time to build a population that is capable of using such infrastructure. It should be the case that these new roads opened today may become another series of death traps for Indians because of a lack of knowledge of a few. It is unlikely that the Modi Government will do much to fix this in the last year of their term, but stronger traffic policing and management needs a central push onto the States. Otherwise, the black-top on all these new roads will be bleeding red within weeks.
Courtesy: The Pioneer