Ma­jor roads turn into death traps

922 road ac­ci­dents took place in the city last year as op­posed to 828 ac­ci­dents in 2014

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NAVI MUM­BAI: Even as Navi Mum­bai traf­fic depart­ment claims to have taken all pos­si­ble steps for re­duc­ing the num­ber of road ac­ci­dents in the city, the sta­tis­tics re­vealed by them tell a dif­fer­ent story.

As many as 922 road ac­ci­dents took place in the city last year as op­posed to 828 ac­ci­dents in 2014. Sim­i­larly, a to­tal of 321 peo­ple lost their lives in 303 ac­ci­dents last year against 297 deaths in 309 ac­ci­dents in 2014.

When it comes to road ac­ci­dents, three ma­jor roads in the satel­lite city – Thane- Belapur Road, Palm Beach Road and Sion- Pan­vel high­way — have turned into vir­tual death traps.

As many as 32 peo­ple died in 30 ac­ci­dents on Thane-Belapur Road last year as op­posed to 22 deaths in 14 ac­ci­dents in 2014. Around 150 IT parks and other of­fices have come up in the MIDC area of Navi Mum­bai along this road in the past seven to eight years.

Ac­cord­ing to the traf­fic of­fi­cers, a ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple who come to work there, il­le­gally cross the road.

An of­fi­cial from Ra­bale traf­fic unit said, “More than 10,000 peo­ple come to the work in th­ese of­fices from var­i­ous places of Mum­bai, Navi Mum­bai and Thane reg­u­larly. They alight from the trains at the sta­tions on the other side and then cross the busy road to reach their of­fices.”

The num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties on Palm Beach Road too in­creased to 7 last year from 5 in 2014. The po­lice said that most of the ac­ci­dents on this road take place at night when sev­eral mo­torists jump the traf­fic sig­nals.

Sion- Pan­vel high­way saw fewer ac­ci­dents last years as com­pared to 2014.

How­ever, there are still much to do for safety of the com­muters.

As many as 50 peo­ple died on the road in 2015 as op­posed to 79 deaths reg­is­tered in 2014.

“More peo­ple died on this road in 2013 and 2014 be­cause of the road con­struc­tion. With the com­ple­tion of the con­struc­tion work, the num­ber of ac­ci­dents de­creased. How­ever, 50 deaths in a year is a se­ri­ous mat­ter. The stretch be­tween Vashi toll naka to Kalam­boli cir­cle is a dan­ger- ous stretch on this road,” said an­other traf­fic of­fi­cial.

Arvind Salve, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (traf­fic), said, “We are tak­ing sev­eral ini­tia­tives for re­duc­ing the num­ber of road ac­ci­dents in the city. First, we are con­duct­ing a sur­vey on the city roads and sug­gest­ing Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion, Cidco and Pan­vel Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil to con­struct foot over­bridges, sub­ways among other. We are get­ting good re­sponses from them.”

“Se­cond, we have iden­ti­fied sev­eral ac­ci­dent- prone ar­eas all ar­te­rial roads and de­ployed more of­fi­cers at those junc­tions. Equipped with speed guns our of­fi­cer are con­duct­ing spe­cial drives and pe­nal­is­ing those who are vi­o­lat­ing norms. It has proved ef­fec­tive,” he said.

“The most im­por­tant step is to cre­ate aware­ness among the peo­ple. If mo­torists are not con­scious, no one can re­form them. We keep mak­ing ef­forts to ed­u­cate them by con­duct­ing sem­i­nars, work­shops, demon­stra­tions and ral­lies,” he added.

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