Herald: Will the PWD free Goa of illegal speed breakers?

Will the PWD free Goa of illegal speed breakers?

31 Dec 2018 07:01am IST

Report by
Abel Pascoal Barretto

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31 Dec 2018 07:01am IST

Report by
Abel Pascoal Barretto

Leave a comment

CANACONA: With technological advancement in road construction and speed of motor vehicles, speed breakers were invented to minimize the increasing cases of road accidents. They are basically simple traffic management devices that use vertical deflection to slow down vehicles which pass over them, but the PWD has constructed speed breakers on both highways and internal arterial roads that break the speed, backbone and the vehicle as well allege vehicle owners. 

The state of Goa has been noticing big ticket infrastructure projects lined up to handle the ever increasing traffic over the last few years, the objective being to provide a smooth and safe ride to the road users. However the ground reality is immensely uneven and irregular, not to mention bumpy at numerous locations all over Goa.

Over the years, hundreds of speed-breakers have come up on the national and state highways in an unauthorized manner. And despite the directives and regulations of the courts, these illegitimate speed breakers across Goa have not been removed. The bone breaking speed breakers have left elderly people and persons suffering from back ailments cursing the authorities every time their vehicles cross these ridges erected across the roads carelessly. 

Central Government is clear in its policy, which says no speed breakers should be constructed on national highways. The policy clearly acknowledges that only rumble strips, of a certain size, can be built where speed control is required.

Also according to the Indian Road Congress, a speed breaking hump should have an elevation of only 10 cm, one metre broad with a slope of 1.25 metres.

But the ones erected on the Goan roads, be they on the national or state highways or the other road networks look at least 10 times bigger than the specified dimensions allege concerned citizens while terming them as back breakers.

Of late the PWD has halted construction of the humps and are building various strips of rumblers to reduce speed of the vehicles. Nonetheless, with a closer look at them it is evident that every set of rumbler strip is with different specifications which have left people confused, with questions being asked over the actual dimensions.

Commuters, especially senior citizens are complaining for a long time of getting their backbone and other health issues related to arthritis compounded every time they cross the speed breakers. 

The fact that is intensifying the situation is that some of the speed humps lack a road signboard warning commuters of the speed breakers, neither are there visible markings as a number of unsuspecting vehicle operators are unable to control their speed on time and have met with accidents. Some of the speed humps are so high that the bottom of vehicles brushes against them which cause wear and tear of the frame beneath the vehicles.

It is estimated that hundreds of speed breakers still exist across Goa built without following the technical parameters, and this ignorance and carelessness has resulted into many accidents, in some cases fatal in nature.

Anil Bhagat, a social activist and a senior citizen from Canacona taluka, has blamed the PWD officials and alleged that they have not acted upon the directives of the courts to replace the speed breakers with rumbler strips.

He said that the road becomes unsafe while crossing these structures and the irony in the situation is that the speed breakers which were originally built to prevent accidents are now increasing the rate of their occurrence.

"If one looks at the damages and scratches on either side of these speed breakers it is evident how many two wheelers have lost balance and fallen on the road injuring themselves, sometimes fatally", Bhagat says. He hoped that the PWD will replace the speed breakers with properly designed rumblers which could ultimately give much desired relief to the commuters.

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