Killer roads claim 199 lives
Three weeks after BJP MLA Manda Mhatre made a surprise visit to Education, Training and Service Centre (ETC) for PWDs, school of NMMC for special children and made corruption allegations, the Shiv Sena visited the institute.
On Thursday, MP Rajan Vichare and party deputy leader and former municipal commissioner Vijay Nahata backed the centre director Varsha Bhagat and give her a clean chit.
The parents, who had assembled in large numbers hoping their grievances will be addressed, were bypassed by the large posse of Shiv Sena politicians.
Mhatre had complained to the chief minister on the functioning of ETC and demanded an inquiry. The municipal commissioner had given a clean chit to the director and the institution.
Nahata, who had helped set up the institution in 2007 as the then municipal commissioner, too explained the functioning of the institution to Vichare.
He said, “We will request the commissioner to start a bus service and extend the study hours of students as the parents want.”
Later, Vichare said, “This is a good project of NMMC and deserves support. If there are complaints, the administration can correct them.”
On not speaking to the parents he said, “We were not here for any publicity. There are some grievances of the parents about which we will speak to the municipal commissioner. They will be taken up in the general body meeting as well.”
Though the Navi Mumbai traffic department claims to have taken all possible steps to reduce road accidents in the city, data reveals that little has changed.
Between January and July this year, 199 people died in road accidents compared to 188 fatalities in the corresponding period last year.
The city witnessed 244 major and 50 minor accidents, and 397 people suffered injuries in the same period. There were 268 major and 72 minor mishaps with 472 people suffering injuries in the first seven months of the last year.
Apart from other city roads, this year too recorded a few major accidents on the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
In one such fatal crash, 17 people died and 47 were injured after a luxury bus rammed into two stationary cars and then fell down into a gorge near Panvel on June 5.
Arvind Salve, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said, “The reasons behind the frequent road accidents vary from drink-driving to rash-driving to signal-jumping to lane-cutting. Lack of awareness among the masses appears to be the biggest issue in this regard.”
“It has been observed that educated people are also flouting traffic norms. For example, despite foot-over-bridges, hundreds of people illegally cross the ThaneBelapur road to reach their offices every morning. All these people are educated and do good jobs,” he said.
An officer of Vashi traffic unit said, “The traffic department has two options to whittle down road accidents. The first option is to create awareness by conducting different programmes. We organise programmes, seminars, and workshops as part of road safety week. We also conduct classes in schools and colleges to sensitise students. But people forget everything and start flouting the norms again.
“The second option is to take punitive measures against violators. We have intensified our drives across the city in recent times. Now, you will find at least one special drive,” he said.
“Equipped with breathalysers and speed guns, our officials conduct drives and collect fines from violators. But such menace cannot be stopped totally unless each citizen starts following traffic rules,” he added.