Friday, June 14, 2024

Bumpy ride over road humps: Blame it on PWD


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Speed breakers or road  humps as they are called have now become an integral part of one’s travelling experience. But more often than not, these road humps which are constructed in the city without following mandatory guidelines have created lot of inconvenience to the general public.

Travellers and drivers alike are facing horrible experiences due to the presence of these speed breakers which are mostly uneven in size and do not conform to the guidelines specified by the Indian Road Congress (IRC).

Sadly, the State PWD does not seem to bother about following the specifications laid down by the IRC before constructing these speed breakers or road humps.

As per IRC guidelines a road hump should have a central height of 10-12 cm, should be parabolic in shape and have a width of 3.5 metres and length same as the road width. The road humps should be painted in a ‘V’ shape and illuminated by solar cat’s eyes (solar cells embedded on pavements/road that reflect sun rays and glow in the dark) to make them visible. The humps should not be more than five metres away from the junction or the intersection. Two signboards, one at 20 to 30 metres and another 10 metres away from the hump should be placed for the commuters to know about the road humps ahead. Intrusion of tree branches should be prevented. Road humps should be put up only on the main roads and not on the cross roads. In ‘rumble strips’ (humps that have around 5 to 10 strips together), the width of each strip is to be one foot and the gap between each strip, one foot.

However, the road humps constructed on the city roads are found to flout all these specifications. What is most surprising is that there are speed breakers in the city constructed even on a curved stretch of the road.

It has also been observed that in some localities, the local administrative bodies sometimes construct the road humps on their own without even bothering to inform the PWD or seek any prior permission. The result – uneven humps leading to bumpy rides.

It has also been noticed that there is no proper indication about any speed breaker. Normally, the speed breaker should be painted in a ‘V’ shape. But it is not a difficult task to recollect that not a single speed breaker in the city is painted.

Non-painted speed breakers are a potential risk to drivers especially during the night hours. Many drivers have complained that they find it difficult to negotiate these speed breakers at night.

Some of the drivers have even complained that they have fallen into roadside drains since they could not spot the speed breakers on time.

It is also found that the trend of putting a sign board reading ‘Drive Slow Speed Breaker Ahead’ is no longer implemented.

The violations in road hump guidelines only indicate one thing — PWD engineers do not go to the site to select the location and dimensions of the speed breakers before their construction.

A senior PWD official, on condition of anonymity, told The Shillong Times that it is the duty of the PWD engineers and the SDO in charge of a particular Division to direct the contractors regarding the shape and size of the speed breaker before its construction.

The senior PWD official also alleged that in the absence of proper guidance the contractor and the labourers construct the speed breakers on their own resulting in uneven humps and sometimes speed breakers at the wrong spot.

So next time a vehicle hits high road hump and the occupants hit the vehicle’s roof, they would know who to blame. (Lamphrang Nongspung)


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