E-way: Police call for changes at 19 ‘black spots’
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The State Highway Police (SHP) has said that repeated reminders, seeking improvements at 19 accident prone "black spots" on the 94-km Pune-Mumbai Expressway, have failed to elicit any response from Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) which looks after the expressway. The SHP also said the Corporation has not taken up any major work on the expressway in the last two years.
Though most of the accidents are caused by human error, police said the majority is caused due to bad road condition and the number can be significantly brought down.
The Yashwantrao Chavan Expressway, which connects Pune and Mumbai, has witnessed more than 680 deaths in more than around 10,000 small and major accidents since 2005. More than 2,000 persons have been seriously injured in these mishaps. Since the last five years, the number of deaths in a year has never been below 100. In the last eight months of this year, as many as 76 persons have lost their lives.
The highway is manned by Pune and Thane divisions of SHP. The police have identified as many as 19 "very accident prone spots" which they describe as black spots and have been writing to the MSRDC about improvements needed at these spots.
SHP superintendent of police Dilip Bhujbal told Newsline, "The contract of operations and maintenance has been given to the IRB (Ideal Road Builders) by the MSRDC. But it must not forget its responsibility. It is unfortunate that changes that will save many lives are not being implemented on priority basis."
Bhujbal added, "We have suggested that at some of the spots, slope and inclination of the road need to be changed. At some spots, protective walls need to be put up and at some safety fencing needs repair." Of the 19 black spots, at least five are 'exit points' from which connecting roads to some of the towns emanate. Cops have a list of improvements that are urgently needed at these exit points.
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