Traffic jams in India have been a matter of concern for a long time. No matter how big the road infrastructure is planned, it fails to reduce traffic during peak hours. Similarly, the six-lane 135.6 km long Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway was constructed to reduce commuting problems and also to decongest the major roads of Delhi. However, despite all the investment and planning, the road built for Rs 9,000 crore has not been completed yet. Ever since the inception of the KMP in 2003, and ever since the Haryana government started working on the project in 2006, obstacles have come to the fore.
The Haryana government also had to pay a hefty fine of Rs 1,300 crore for the delay in the completion of the project. The KMP Expressway connects Sonipat, Kharkhoda, Bahadurgarh, Badli, Jhajjar, Manesar, Nuh, Sohna, Hathin and Palwal.
In 2016, following the intervention of the Supreme Court, a direction was issued to complete the project. Also, the number of lanes was increased to six from the earlier proposed four. One of the major ideas behind the creation of the KMP was to decongest Delhi and reduce the rising pollution levels in the national capital. However, that is yet to happen.
The 53-km stretch of KMP from Manesar to Palwal was inaugurated by Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in April 2016, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 83-km Kundli-Manesar section in November 2018. In December 2018, toll gates were installed at KMP.
Why drivers avoid taking Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway?
One of the major problems marked by many travelers is the lack of public facilities. There is no toilet, no toilet, not even a place to eat or drink. Many people have tagged KMP as unsafe section to travel during day time also. Some have even warned women not to travel on this route.
The KMP was conceived primarily for use with heavy vehicles, but the idea appears not to have been properly planned. Drivers of such vehicles are not keen on using them as there is no place or facility to stay in the 135 km long stretch.
There is no police patrolling on the expressway which adds to the threat to safety and security. The response time of ambulance services is also not satisfactory. The KMP is often attended by heavy vehicle drivers and their assistants.
In an interview, one of them said that they try to avoid KMP Expressway mainly citing sluggish police or ambulance response in case of any accident or casualty. Sometimes you have to wait for hours for help. Also, there are no dedicated or proper places to park the vehicles. And if a vehicle breaks down or gets into an accident, it creates more risks for other vehicles.
While passing through KMP, a vehicle met with an accident and it was found that the driver was stuck there with his vehicle for two days. The KMP also lacks proper illumination. There is not a single lamp post in the 50-60 km stretch from Nuh to Palwal.
Even driving during the day doesn’t cause much trouble, with passengers describing the night time experience as excruciating. Also, the KMP does not have signboards with helpline numbers which further aggravates the problems of the commuters.
(With inputs from IANS)