Hundreds of people are killed in and around Pune city every month, but these numbers simply go unnoticed
According to the data on Pune traffic police department’s website, this year, 269 people were killed in various accidents on highways in and around Pune region. The website also suggests that 407 people were killed in various accidents within Pune city limits (excluding highways) during 2012.
Four individuals lost their life just because of negligence of highway authorities
These days, the Pune Satara highway is in limelight, as four individuals from Pune lost their life because of incorrect and misguiding sign boards on Pune Satara highway. Pune’s four young ad professionals – Pranav Lele, Chintan Buch, Sahil Qureshi and Shrutika Chandwani were travelling in their Hundai i10 car, and were going towards Goa via Kolhapur. According to police reports, these people lost their life when their car plunged into the Nira River near Shirval on Pune Satara highway. Experts suggest that this car must have plunged into the river from the gap between two bridges.
They also suggest that this accident could have been avoided by simply removing misguiding sign boards which suggest the driver to take right and directly go into the death trap between the two bridges on Nira River. Experts suggest that the absence of any fluorescent sign board, lack of a crash barrier; and; the absence of 24×7 patrolling were the reasons for these four deaths.
Renowned RTI activist Vinita Deshmukh is planning to file PIL seeking safer highways
Vinita Deshmukh and some other members of Nav Bharat Nagarik Manch (an informal social platform to address citizen issues) held its first citizen meeting on Sunday, November 10, at Sarasbaug Garden. The objective of the meeting was to chalk out an action forward plan regarding the needless deaths of those four individuals who lost their life.
Leading social and civic activists were present for the meeting. Vijay Kumbhar, leading RTI activist stated that, “the shoddy and irresponsible work by the contractors and the government department concerned is not restricted only to the Pune-Bangalore highway, but is seen in all the highways of Maharashtra. Hence, people must use RTI to get information on all the highways and file a PIL on their questionable construction as well the lack of adherence to safety norms; maintenance and operations.’’
Srinivas Varunjikar, journalist and Satara based activist stated that, “despite a series of correspondence and meetings with NHAI authorities requesting them to adhere to safety norms along the 371 kms of the Pune-Bangalore highway that runs through Maharashtra, there has been no response.’’
RTI activist- Vinita Deshmukh with some leading social and civic activists
RTI activist Vinita Deshmukh said that they are going to write a letter to Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and NHAI’s chief in order to demand the suspension of NHAI Officials responsible for criminal negligence in making the Neera Bridge unsafe and life threatening for travelers. She also said that the Govt should not allow the contractor to collect the toll money from passengers on the concerned highway stretch as it lacks maintenance and security.
Nav Bharat Nagrik Manch (NBNM) feels that the Govt should blacklist Reliance Infra’s contractors who did not abide by the mandatory rule of employing 24×7 security guards for patrolling and also kept the concerned bridge unsafe by not installing crash barrier on the bridge.
- Shiv Sena delegation led by spokesperson Neelam Gorhe also met the NHAI officials with similar demands.
- Team of safety consultants from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) recently inspected sections of the Pune-Bangalore highway to identify accident-prone spots and to suggest road-safety measures.
By -Nitten Gokhaley
This story was also published in Pune’s weekly newspaper called- Campus Express-
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Nitten is a freelance journalist and content writer. He writes for several newspapers, newsletters, and websites. If you are looking for a website content writer, please email us about your requirements: firstname.lastname@example.org