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Junction of Death claims another life.

Dr Nitin Pandey

"The Junction of Death"
Hatibarkala Crossing

15yr old Angad Malik was cycling back home after tuition at 9.00 pm on 27th Aug 2008, when he was hit by a speeding truck. That day’s tuition was to be his last, as he succumbed to his injuries a few hours later. The life of a 9th Standard KV student and the dreams of his parents shattered the moment Angad decided to cross the road at the “Junction of Death”.

This Junction of Death is the junction at which the Survey of India road (on the left in the photograph) meets the New Cantt Road in Hatibarkala. Over the years numerous persons have lost their lives trying to cross the junction. A lady buying vegetables was killed two months ago while crossing the road here. On an average one life is snuffed out every two months, while numerous people are injured in minor accidents on a more frequent basis.

The reason for this propensity for accidents is a good straight road, without any speed breakers, with a busy market on both sides (the Hatibarkala Market) and a blind junction where the Survey of India road meets the main road. Often buses are parked at the junction further obstructing the view. Due to well maintained road vehicles tend to enter the market area at high speeds resulting in accidents.

Residents of this area have been demanding construction of speed breakers on the road for a number of years, but their appeals have apparently fallen on deaf ears. While the government has constructed numerous speed breakers all over Dehra Dun, even roads of suburbs of Dehra Dun have a number of them (see inset, which shows a rural road in Jauhari Gaon), for reasons best known to them, not a single speed breaker has been constructed in this road. Could it be that the authorities want to give the Governor and the Chief Minister, who live down the road, a “bump free” ride?

How many more lives have to be lost before the authorities wake up?

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