National Expressway – 1: The race course without RULES

You are driving at 100 kmph in your sedan. The road you are on is one of the best example of Highways in your country. The road has safety signs, reflectors, caution notices, emergency toll free number indications, amenities and no sharp turns. Your lane is clear, with a gently moving long vehicle is on your outer lane. You are confident that the distance of 90 kilometers will be covered easily in one hour. Just when you are about to get the feel of being “privileged” and your brain signals your Zygomaticus major in your cheeks to pull posteriorly,

….. you see a car zooming INTO your rear view mirror ..its lights blinding your retinal membrane with quick flashes…..as if it is chasing with the lethal intentions to transform into robot and pull out a hand canon while doing somersault on top of your hood…..

….it disappears to the left ….. head lights glowing with devilish brightness….now it appears like a flash in your left side-view mirror….. and disappears again…….

…..before you breathe out..(forget the smile)…its on your 9 O`clock…..10 O` Clock…. 11 O`Clock ..aaand… the car speeds on left most SERVICE LANE …overtaking a long truck from WRONG SIDE….. and zooooom…..back in front of your car……

Getting back to your senses and looking at your speedometer will show that you are already on TOP SPEED allowed on this road. While the car that zoomed past you from wrong side using a service lane is already disappearing from your sight with a speed of 30-40 kmph more than yours !! WTF !!

You get a similar feeling like the below mentioned ones:

  • When class teacher asks everybody to put fingers on their lips and remain silent, but those who did put the fingers on their lips and kept talking were not punished.
  • When you go to provision store and wait for the keeper to ask what you want, but a wide mouthed, pan chewing guy coming after you crosses over your shoulder and orders his items; gets them; pays for them and leaves; before you.
  • When you stop your car far away from Closed RAILWAY CROSSING in your lane, and ….yes…. the other coming after you cut through the lane and manage “infiltrating” your regular lane 10 vehicles ahead of you.
  • When …. and there are lots of them.

It was travelling at 140 kmph !! “Awesome car man”, is how any teenager would react to above paragraphs. But not if that teenager has a slightest idea of how feeble a life is at these speeds in metal-glass boxes on wheels.

Being in India. You find this happening in every corner of this country. People have learned to laugh on it and now it has become a culture.

To be dishonest is to be “smart” these days. You got to have “guts” to be dishonest ( sorry… smart)..you know.

I have a very close relation with Mahatma Gandhi National Expressway-1 that runs between Ahmedabad and Vadodara.

Its construction started when I was in school. It was only once during those days that I saw this large over-bridge that made me wonder what so much large will pass over a road? Was it going to be trains?

No. It was small part of Golden Quadrilateral that is going to span to all corners of India. A very visionary project. Salute the the engineers and its visionaries.

Today, the wide road is no more wide. It has grown. Not in width, in traffic. The number of vehicles has increased. The lanes are insufficient. The authorities are unable/incapable to force even the simple rules.

Many fatal accidents have taken hundred of lives on NE-1. Most of them because of negligence for fraction of seconds and non adherence to rules.

If all the vehicles ran on 100 kmph max speed. There would be less overtakes. This would reduce accident rates drastically. But

NHAI has NO MECHANISM TO CURB OVER-SPEEDING.

NHAI has no MECHANISM TO CURB WRONG OVERTAKING!

All vehicles are like on a race-course, with no rules. But unlike a race, it is not the money  at stake, but those precious lives inside them.

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