Mohali, September 20
Seven months after the then Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister, Aman Arora, announced in the Assembly to replace 16 junctions with rotaries in Mohali, plastic drums, as makeshift rotaries, continue to mar the facade of city with accidents taking place regularly at intersections.
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has now initiated process on five rotaries with the construction likely to begin by the year-end. The authority has initiated the construction of roundabouts on various cross junctions on 150-ft road from the Sector 76-77-88-89 intersection to the Sector 80-81-84-85 crossing.
Roundabouts reduce impact of mishap
- The impact of accidents at light points is higher than at rotaries. At a roundabout, the collision of vehicles is not head-on, so these are less severe. Also, there are fewer accidents as vehicles tend to slow down while approaching a roundabout.
- To lessen the impact during road accidents, the height of roundabouts can be lowered by two feet to nine inches. The Chandigarh and Panchkula civic bodies have created a six-foot-wide paver block strip circumventing the roundabouts to slow down the speed of a crashing vehicle.
In the meantime, the UT Administration has completed construction of three traffic light intersection into rotaries, while Panchkula has already minimised road accidents with paver block strip circumventing the roundabouts.
GMADA Divisional Engineer (C-lll) Pankaj Mehmi said, “Sixteen roundabouts are to be constructed in Mohali. In the first phase, five will be constructed on the road adjacent to the Airport Road. Three more are in the discussion stage. The time period for the project is 10 months after tenders are received. The construction will include civil, public health and electrical works.”
Most of the accidents in Mohali take place at intersections due to speeding and red light jumping.
“There are hardly any accidents on the Madanpura chowk, Diplast chowk and other rotaries, still the government is procrastinating. Originally, rotaries were planned for Mohali, but somehow intersections with traffic lights came into being. It is a known fact that the speed of vehicle comes down as the driver approaches a roundabout. That is why they are called sleeping constables, meaning that even if the traffic cop is sleeping the traffic will keep on moving slowly on its own,” said a former GMADA official, adding that the construction work must be fast-tracked immediately.
GMADA officials said the widening and upgrade of road from Sector 61/62-69/70 junction up to the Sector 65/66 junction, also known as Bawa White House junction, has also been initiated. Officials said construction of a 200-ft road from Sector 89/90/95/94 junction to Sector 91/93 junction would also be undertaken. A bridge on the road separating Sectors 90 and 94 was also in the offing, the construction of which was likely to begin in December, officials added.
A carriageway of 190-ft road (VR-5) from DLF up to PR-4 road in New Chandigarh is also being planned.
What the minister said in Punjab Assembly
On March 5, replying to a query by Mohali MLA Kulwant Singh during the Budget session in the Punjab Assembly, the then Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Aman Arora, had said the 14-km PR-7 Road from the Airport chowk to the Kharar-Chandigarh highway had 12 light points, increasing travel time for commuters and making it an accident-prone zone. Therefore, the government planned to convert these junctions into roundabouts after receiving a report from the Transport Adviser and Technical Adviser to the CM’s Office. Once the go-ahead is received, junctions will be transformed into roundabouts in three phases.
In phase I, three junctions at Sectors 67-68-79-80, 68-69-78-79 and 69-70-77-78 will be converted by April-end. In phase II, eight junctions at Sectors 118-119-117-74A, 119-73-74, 72-73-74-75, 71-72-75-76, 70-80-76-77, 66-76-80-81, 66A-66B-81-82 and 66A-66B-8B-82A will be converted while in phase III, five junctions at Sectors 76-77-88-89, 77-78-88-87, 78-79-87-86, 79-80-86-85 and 80-81-84-85 will be changed into roundabouts.
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