Australia based road safety expert, activist talks about Rau- Khalghat highway

Mhow: Kailash Tiwari, a native of Mhow and road safety expert and activist is an advisor on road safety to countries like Australia, Tanzania, UAE and a few other countries is in Mhow to attend a family function here. Tiwari was a member of the group of final year engineering students of SGSITS that were given a major project for planning and designing the Rau- Khalghat road in 1975. The group equipped with all basic engineering survey gadgets started walking from Holkar Science College. The survey was to be done between Indore and Gujri village as the hilly section is there only up to this village. It took 21 days for them to reach Gujri and return back while taking notes of the road after every 200 meters.

Tiwari said that they had made an excellent plan for the Ganesh ghat and Bakaner ghat in their project such that the road would have been accident free zone. As far as slopes and curves were concerned, they were designed so as to make the journey highly comfortable.

He said that almost everything was taken from that project except the extreme slope in the Ganesh ghat which has claimed more than 600 in last ten years. However he said that ghats having even more dangerous slopes are there in Australia but unlike India, there is a dedicated road safety ministry that gives special emphasis on safety.

When Brig (retired) MM Bhanot who headed the construction work of the Rau- Khalghat four lane road was contacted inn this regard, he said that initially the contract was given to their company PATH but later PATH gave the contract to an Italian company names ‘Leighton’. “Engineers of that company had probably changed certain elements in the original plan, I think this could be a reason for the such a steep slope on the road”, he said.


Suggestions to minimize accidents on this stretch

  • He said that the surface of roads in such stretches should not be smooth. It should be rough with having audio- tactile rumbling surface. This means that it produces sound and at the same time provides friction to the wheels when the vehicles move.

  • Wherever the difference in level of road and land beside the road is more than 3 meters, crash barriers are must on the sides. He said that in India, the height of the crash barriers is generally more whereas it should be such that the lower end should be 0.7 m from ground while upper end should be 1.1 m above ground.

  • Speed governors must be checked before the vehicles enter such road stretches and speed checking equipment should be fitted there so that a strict action could be taken against those violating the norms.