30 killed on Sion-Panvel highway this year
KILLER STRETCH Around 72 people were injured in accidents between January and July on pothole-riddled highway, said sources in traffic dept
The Sion-Panvel highway has turned into one of the most dangerous road stretches in Navi Mumbai.
Many have been killed and injured in road accidents with every passing year.
According to motorists, the highway witnesses frequent accidents as the road is in a bad condition with potholes surfacing everywhere.
According to sources from the traffic department, between January and July this year, as many as 30 people were killed and 73 others were injured in 80 accidents that occurred on this road stretch.
In 2015, 43 people died and 121 others were injured in 138 road accidents along this stretch. Of the 138 accidents, 41 were major ones, said sources.
In the most recent accident on the highway, two men were killed after their bike was hit by dumper near Shiravane flyover on Tuesday.
To avoid a pothole, the biker had slowed down the speed of the bike on the busy road and ended up getting hit by a dumper from the rear. The potholes on Sion-Panvel highway claimed two lives on Tuesday.
The duo succumbed to their injuries at a hospital while undergoing treatment.
“It is true that the highway has witnessed frequent accidents owing to its a bad condition. The highway was constructed
barely two years ago, but it has developed potholes at several spots. Some areas such as near Juinagar station and Nerul are severely affected,” said a senior officer from the traffic department.
With the onset of the monsoon, several patches of the highway have got damaged. Even as efforts are being taken to fix the potholes, it is hardly serving any purpose because of the heavy rainfall.
The officer said, “Potholes are, however, not the only reason for frequent accidents. Some motorists are also to be blamed. Many of them do not follow road safety norms. They jump signals whenever they don’t see traffic officials at the spot.”
“Other violations such as rash driving, drink driving, driving without wearing seat belts and helmets are also very common. We have been conducting drives to keep a check,” he said.
“More officials have also been deployed near toll nakas and other important junctions. But the menace cannot be stopped completely if the people do not cooperate with us,” he added.
Following the sudden disappearance of a family that allegedly fled owing to a money lender’s harassment, the Panvel police have begun an inquiry into the functioning of moneylenders in the city.
The police are still trying to trace Abhay Kalyankar, his wife and son, who went missing 10 days ago.
According to Kalyankar’s relatives, the Kalyankars were under immense stress as a local moneylender was troubling them to pay a high rate of interest for a loan they borrowed from him. The family probably abandoned their house and fled overnight to escape the stress.
Senior police inspector Sunil Bajare from Panvel police station said, “Following the disappearance of the family, a number of people have called us and informed about the harassment they face from moneylenders.”
The police have prepared a list of money lenders in the city who charge high interest rates — around 10% to 15% every month — for loans. They are also questioning each of these money lenders. “A police team is collecting information on moneylenders in the city,” said Bajare.
According to sources, there have been instances of people committing suicides in Kalamboli, Kamothe and Khandeshwar areas owing to harassment from money lenders.
“Instead of fleeing their homes or taking drastic steps such as committing suicide, we appeal to the residents to inform us,” said Bajare.
“They can call us on 9870175033 with their complaints. We will take immediate action,” added Bajare.