A steep rise in rumble strips on the city roads has become a major irritant for motorists, especially two-wheeler riders, who say they are dreading their back-breaking commutes to and from work.
The rumble strips in front of the ENT Hospital in Koti and on Somajiguda road, where the average speed during the day is limited by the sheer volume of traffic, are a case in point.
“Traffic police are using rumble strips to cover up their inefficiency in controlling the speeds. At the rate at which they are being raised, the city roads will soon be filled with rumble strips. They are a nightmare for two-wheeler riders,” says P. Gautham, a resident of Madinaguda.
“If there is one single reason why people of Hyderabad shouldn’t vote for TRS/BRS, it is these monstrous rumble strips laid across the city breaking the backs of motorists. Only people who use high-end cars won’t suffer. Rest of us, have to see a doctor for driving in this city [sic],” frowned Sreekanth, a Twitter user.
The vitriol directed by commuters towards a 50-metre long series of rumble strips at Gachibowli has caught the attention of Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development K.T. Rama Rao, who has reportedly asked officials of the Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC), under whose jurisdiction the road falls, to remove them forthwith.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is not blameless. Stung by the freak accident in which an over-speeding car crash-landed from the Biodiversity Junction flyover onto the road below, killing a woman and injuring two, civic officials have gone on a spree of raising rumble strips on all flyovers irrespective of the risk they pose. The strips are found on Durgam Cheruvu cable bridge and the flyover on Road No. 45, as well as the recently inaugurated LB Nagar flyover.
“There are three series of rumble strips on the descent from LB Nagar flyover, to prevent vehicles from crashing into the temple on the way. This, after narrowing the carriageway down by planting barricades. There are rumble strips on the Nagole flyover too which is straight as an arrow and has little scope for accidents. These flyovers have become a pain,” says K. Ramakrishnaiah, a resident of LB Nagar.
Added to their needless presence is the utterly unscientific way of their construction which flies in the face of the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) guidelines, which specify a height of 20-30 mm for rumble strips on national and state highways, with not more than six strips at each location.
“In the city, they should not be more than 5 mm high, that too based on the need. But the strips here are as high as 15 mm, which will have a terrible effect on spinal health. The distance between two consecutive strips should be a minimum of 60 cm, which is also not being maintained,” said an official, attributing both lapses to the unreasonable demands by the Traffic Police, who reportedly stand at the location, and get their bidding done.