The Mumbai-Pune expressway, considered by most as a pleasure to drive on, is turning out to be a serious death trap, says industry body Marhatta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). The MCCIA has sent a proposal to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and Ideal Road Builders (IRB) — the two bodies responsible for maintaining the expressway — with suggestions to make the expressway safer.
The MCCIA has asked for more halting zones on the expressway where weary drivers can safely pull over to take a break or in case the vehicle develops any snag.
Most of the 27 people who died in Monday's accident were the ones sitting on the road while their bus was being fixed. “If there are more parking spots with adequate space on either side, the number of such accidents could be minimised,” said Chandmal Parmar, chairman of the rail, road and traffic management committee, MCCIA.
Parmar pointed out that the expressway driving guidelines do not permit vehicles to stop along the road. This leaves motorists with the few halting points at the two toll nakas and food malls. He said the MCCIA had observed that a few spots on the 95-km expressway were more likely to cause rear-end collisions, as there isn't enough halting space. The observations had been conveyed to the MSRDC and IRB. “However, the response from the two agencies has not been encouraging despite our follow-up,” he added.
MSRDC executive engineer Ashok Kumar Abrol said there was enough space on both sides of expressway for vehicles that need to halt.