By Pawan Tripathi
Gurugram, Sep 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) The six-lane 135.6 km-long Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway was constructed to ease commuting woes and also decongest the key roads of Delhi. However, despite all the investments and planning, the road -- built at a cost of Rs 9,000 crore, has failed to deliver so far.
Right from the time of KMP's conception in 2003, and since the Haryana government began work on the project in 2006, bottlenecks kept on emerging now and then. The Haryana government also had to pay a massive fine of Rs 1,300 crore over delays 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 previously proposed four.
One of the prime ideas behind the construction of KMP was to decongest Delhi and reduce the increasing pollution levels in the national capital. However, this is yet to happen.
A 53-km stretch of the KMP from Manesar to Palwal was inauguarated by Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in April 2016, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 83-km Kundi-Manesar section in November 2018.
In December 2018, toll gates were installed on the KMP.
One of the key problems flagged by a lot of commuters is the lack of public conveniences. There are no toilets, rest-rooms or even places to eat and drink.
Many people have tagged KMP an unsafe section to travel on even in day time. Some have even warned women against travelling on this route.
The KMP was conceptualised mainly for use of the heavy vehicles towards it but the idea seems not to have had been properly planned. The drivers of such vehicles are not keen on using it as there is no place or facility to stay throughout the 135-km long stretch.
No police patrolling is noticed on the expressway which further adds to the woes around safety and security.
The response time of ambulance services is also far from satisfactory.
The KMP is usually frequented by the heavy vehicles' drivers and their helpers.
Interacting with IANS, one of them said they mainly try to avoid the KMP expressway citing sluggish police or ambulance response in case of any accident or casualty. Sometimes, they have to wait for hours to receive assistance.
Also, there are no dedicated or proper place to park the vehicles. And if any vehicle breaks down or meets with an accident, it poses further risk to other vehicles.
While passing through the KMP, this IANS correspondent also noticed a vehicle that met with an accident. It was learnt that the driver was stuck there along with his vehicle for the last two days.
The KMP also lacks proper illumination. In fact, the 50-60 km stretch from Nuh to Palwal does not have a single lamp post.
Even as driving in the day time is not much of a hassle, commuters describe the night-time experience as a harrowing one. Also, the KMP does not have signboards bearing helpline numbers which further aggravates the commuters' problems.