MOHALI: Shops and houses have direct illegal openings to the national highway that runs through Zirakpur , Derabassi and Lalru. Details secured under the Right to Information (RTI) Act show them to have no permission from the highway ministry.
In its reply, the highway administration has claimed that only three business establishments have the permit to lay a path to the road. The Chandigarh office of the road transport ministry, besides Mohali offices of PIU (Programme Implementation Unit) and NHAI (National Highway Authority of India), are the only ones with rightful access, while eight establishments have provisional NOC (no-objection certificate).
Hundreds of business establishments, including re-fuelling stations, marriage palaces and amusement parks continue without these papers. Their opening right on the busy highway-152 causes accidents, obstructs traffic and damages the road. Refuse from the eating joints fills up drains, while guard rails and parapets are broken for intrusion.
Three months ago, Mohali deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan had directed the NHAI to plug all illegals openings on the Zirakpur-Derabassi highway but nothing changed on the ground. Harman Singh Sidhu, president of road safety voluntary organisation ArriveSAFE, says: “The district administration and the NHAI keep passing the buck. By rule, the NHAI must close or dismantle these access paths immediately, if these are hazardous for road safety.”
Sidhu said: “This is one of the deadliest stretches of the national highway in Punjab, yet no one is bothered to take remedial measures.”
On Sidhu’s request last year, Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari had directed the NHAI’s field officers to remove these illegal accesses.
Date: November 23, 2019