The Outer Ring Road (ORR) of Hyderabad, officially known as Nehru Outer Ring Road is regularly in the news for tragedies. Last week there were three fatal accidents. It makes me very sad when I hear of precious lives hurt and lost in accidents and the agony they bring to their families. There are about 40,000 vehicles plying on the ORR every day, in the control of very good; rule-abiding drivers. But then there are careless drivers and this article is in the hope that my message would reach such drivers and they would be extra cautious.
The Outer Ring Road is a 158 kilometre, 8-lane Expressway encircling Hyderabad and there are 33 radial roads connected to it from the very old Inner Ring Road of the City. The ORR aims to improve connectivity and decongest the traffic flow on the existing major arterials between the outer suburbs of Greater Hyderabad. It gives an easy connectivity between NH 44/NH 7 (Srinagar to Kanyakumari), NH 65/NH 9 (Machilipatnam to Pune), NH 161 (Akola to Sangareddy), NH 765 (Hyderabad to Dornala) and it connects many State Highways leading to Vikarabad, Nagarjunasagar, Karimnagar and Mancherial. The Ring Road also helps in reducing the travel time to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport from Cities like Nizamabad and Adilabad. And this Road is in many ways a big asset to the infrastructural development of Telangana State.
For the past two years and this year till third week of December 2016, the graph of road accident deaths on ORR is going up. From 43 deaths witnessed on ORR in 2014, the figure rose to 49 in 2015 and this year so far it is 60. Even the numbers of total accidents on ORR which are not fatal are also increasing. From 75 in 2014 and 84 in 2015, the figures have gone up to 119 accidents so far in this year.
The primary reason for this rise in accidents I see is mostly due to over-speeding. The minimum and maximum speeds allowed on the 4-lanes on each side of the expressway are 40 kilometres per hour to 120 kmph. But after every accident it is reported that the vehicles were moving at 150 kmph or even more. And in most cases the drivers are youngsters, inexperienced, careless and irresponsible. Other reasons for accidents are drunken driving, lane violation and improper parking. The expressway seems very good to me. But may be more warnings and checks are required to prevent these accidents. I sincerely hope the authorities and the drivers would take every care to prevent accidents.