The eastern suburbs, spanning from Mahim to Mulund, topped the list of minor to severe accidents (4,995) and fatalities in road mishaps (155) from January to September across Mumbai, revealed a first-of-its-kind survey conducted by the traffic police.
The aim of the study initiated by the traffic department was to identify spots that are prone to accidents and come up with preventive measures. Dividing the island city and suburbs into five zones, the traffic police conducted a comparative analysis of the figures recorded between the first nine months of 2013 and 2014.
At 387, the number of fatalities in the city witnessed a marginal dip from last year’s 436 deaths. The north zone—comprising areas between Goregaon and Borivli—stood second in the number of fatal accidents (88), followed by west zone (Sakinaka to airport) with 71 deaths and south zone (Colaba to Wadala) with 46 deaths.
In case of other accidents, which include minor to severe ones, the west zone came a close second to the east zone with 4,735 accidents, followed by the south zone with 1,969 accidents.
The central zone, which covers areas from Nagpada to Worli, witnessed the lowest number of fatalities (27) and other accidents (1,362).
Dr BK Upadhaya, joint commissioner of police, traffic, said, “The east zone has reported more accidents and fatalities because of its topography and high density slum population. Most fatalities have been caused because of irresponsible pedestrian road-crossing on the arterial roads, where heavy vehicles ply at high speed.”
Citing the example of Trombay, which reported maximum deaths (45) in the city, as a case in point, Upadhaya said most accidents in this area took place around Shivaji Nagar slums in the early and late hours, when residents are least careful while crossing roads. Also, 15 of these deaths took place on the Eastern Freeway alone.
The area-wise comparison showed Goregaon reported the maximum number of minor to severe accidents (1,659), a marginal rise from last year’s (1,635) cases. Vakola witnessed 1,339 other accidents, while DN Nagar reported 1,015 cases.
Qaiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police, said the western and far-western suburbs witness more accidents because of its population and vehicle density. “Most of the areas are home to affluent middle-class population, with people owning maximum number of vehicles compared with other areas in the city. The areas between Bandra and Malad often see youngsters speeding on bikes at late hours,” he said.
Upadhaya said the movement of heavy vehicles in the eastern and western suburbs, which is banned during peak hours, is being regulated and steps such as installing rubber speed breakers at some spots, too, have been taken. Suggestions have been given for construction of flyovers at some places such as the Kalanagar junction.
“We are now stressing on the deployment of traffic policemen at the troubled spots to help discipline motorists,” he said.