One of the basic amenities that the citizens of any state have a right to, is the presence of well-constructed and motorable roads. The people of Haryana, unfortunately are deprived of this right. Right from the major cities such as Gurgaon, Faridabad, Rohtak, and Karnal to the remotest villages inadequate roadways are a pertinent issue. In some cases the absence of construction and in some the inferior works are to be blamed. In places where roads are present, signs, traffic signals, and even management of level crossings are major concerns. The state has developed a culture where accidents are common and efficient traffic engineering is absent.
One of the major concerns with regard to the roads of Haryana is the lack of maintenance. In smaller cities and towns great potholes and erosion of the metaling is a regular feature. With a great number of two-wheeler and auto population, the number of accidents in these townships is skyrocketing. According to official statistics, there were about 10,065 and 10,134 road traffic accidents in the state of Haryana in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In 2013, 9,182 people were reported injured and 4,383 people died in these accidents while in 2012, 9,452 people were injured and 4,446 people died in road traffic accidents. Haryana police has blamed deteriorating road conditions for a great number of these accidents.
Poor engineering is a major factor in the deterioration of road conditions in Haryana. Corrupt practices lead to awarding of construction tenders to agencies with little expertise in construction of roads and thoroughfares. The state does not have any traffic engineering centers to produce professionals who may build such sound roadways and systems. In many rural parts of the state, the existence of pitch roads itself is a dream. Mud roads turn slushy during monsoons leading to accidents in many villages. Vehicular traffic management in these parts is hazardous with neither proper road conditions nor traffic lights to go by.
Most of the National Highways that pass through the state including prominent one such as NH 22, NH 72 and 73 are also in need of much repair. Metalling and repair work is required in many sections following the monsoons. Either these projects are ignored by the state administration or the repair work inadequate. These highways form important means of connecting Haryana with other states and heavy vehicular traffic is high, leading to a risk of high damage to life and property in case of accidents.
The state administration needs to step in and correct the situation urgently. A greater emphasis needs to be laid on construction of roads and the quality of work across the state. Repair work needs to be undertaken in association with municipal and rural development corporations at the end of the monsoon season each year. Strict quality audits and benchmarks need to be set for agencies involved in construction of these roads, and failure to comply must attract a penalty or ban from being awarded further projects.
Each year the loss of thousands of lives on the roads of Haryana due to poor road conditions and deteriorating highways is completely unacceptable. A Naya Haryana which ensures safety and comfort to all its citizens is the urgent demand of the day.