An NHAI official said on Wednesday the authority has been getting reports of frequent traffic violations.
NHAI chairman Santosh Kumar Yadav wrote to Haryana chief secretary Sanjeev Kaushal to raise the issue two weeks ago. Wrong-side driving and roadside parking by truckers on the Sohna-Dausa stretch of the expressway, inaugurated earlier this year, are major safety concerns, the official said.
On Tuesday afternoon, a collision between a Rolls Royce and an oil tanker being driven on the wrong side of the highway led to two deaths in Nuh – that of the truck driver and his co-passenger. Three others, all passengers in the Rolls Royce, suffered critical injuries and are battling for their lives at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon.
The official said attempts to stop truck drivers from parking along the expressway have met with resistance in the past. “Truckers had a fight with our team when we asked them to remove their vehicles. NHAI needs the help of local police to enforce traffic norms since they have the mandate and staff to do so,” he said.
NHAI project director Mukesh Kumar Meena told TOI on Wednesday that the authority also wrote to police chiefs of Gurgaon, Palwal and Nuh in Haryana, and Alwar in Rajasthan, to deploy their teams on the expressway portions that fall in their jurisdictions.
“We raised our concerns and requested them to start a drive for enforcing norms on the stretch,” Meena said.
Gurgaon DCP (traffic) Virender Vij said they have already deployed cops at the entry and exit points of the expressway in the city. “We can conduct a drive against wrong-side driving on the expressway as well,” he said.
According to NHAI officials, there is also a problem of monitoring in Nuh, where people often go to the expressway to make social media videos and posts.
The 246km Sohna-Dausa stretch of the expressway was opened for traffic on February 15. Traffic load has increased over the months as the route saves time for commuters heading from Jaipur to Gurgaon and Delhi. So have instances of traffic violations, with many driving on the wrong side of the carriageway to get to their destinations faster.
The stretch is already covered with hi-tech CCTV cameras installed every kilometre but the devices cannot avert accidents or stop violators on the spot.
On the expressway, which will connect India’s largest metropolises, NHAI will eventually deploy an advanced traffic management system that will help the authority monitor movement, check violations and immediately dispatch response teams after accidents. A control room is also being built in Alipur to monitor a 78km stretch of the expressway in Haryana.
TOI had reported on Wednesday that the Rolls-Royce, cruising at a speed of 120kmph on the Sohna side, crashed into the tanker in Nuh’s Nagina. The driver of the oil tanker, who died in the collision, had allegedly taken the wrong side to avoid a far-off U-turn to get to a fuel station.