Jun 22, 2010 at 09:39am IST

Foot overbridge sought over killer expressway

Gurgaon/Delhi: The Gurgaon-Delhi expressway has claimed lives of a number of pedestrians while trying to cross it. Citizen journalist Ratan Lal is demanding that a foot overbridge be constructed for the villagers living along the expressway.

In the last three years, 20 people have lost their lives and more than 30 have been handicapped on the expressway. And all the victims were residents of one village, Jharera.

"My name is Rattan Lal. My village Jharera is located next to the Gurgaon expressway. For all the people of my village, this road is the only way out and today I want to introduce you to a few victims of this highway. Victims who were the sole bread earners and now they and their families are struggling to meet ends," says Rattan Lal.

Kela Devi, a resident of the village, said: "Hamari Duniya badal gayi, roti chai gayi. Pi ke tej chala raha tha gadi wala, meri pati ki jaan le li." (My life has changed. The driver was drunk and killed my husband.)

Kela Devi lost her husband Ram Veer Singh in May 2008. He died in a road accident on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.

"He was the only earning member and now I don't have anyone. I don't know how I will bring up my five kids, their education, everything. I don't know how to manage," Kala Devi said further.

On the 23rd January 2008, this expressway was thrown open to commuters. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), designed the expressway for a speed limit of 120 kmph. D S Constructions was given the contract to build it.

"We had expressed our concerns to the highway authorities even while this expressway was under construction, but our pleas fell on deaf ears. I wrote several letters to the local MLA, and Ajay Maken, the local MP, as well as the highway authority. The villagers had carried out protests and dharnas but nothing was done," says Rattan Lal.

"We want a foot overbridge to be made on this road and will not rest till it is built," vows Rattan Lal.

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