Under pressure in the wake of the recent series of accidents on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, the state government now plans to take steps to make the accident-prone stretch from Kamsheth to Talegaon safer.
The district road safety committee on Saturday asked the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and Ideal Road Builders (IRB) to install wire ropes or crash barriers at the accident-prone stretch within a month.
The road development corporation plans to hire a foreign company for the installation of the wire rope crash barriers at an estimated cost of Rs6 crore.
Arun Deodhar, chief engineer, MSRDC, said, "Installation of wire rope crash barriers along a one-km stretch costs around Rs50 lakh. The barriers would first be installed on parts where there are no road dividers."
"Crash barriers absorb the impact of the collision. Consequently, the vehicles won't bounce back on the road after an accident," said Sanjay Dhaygude, committee secretary and deputy RTO.
The road contractor and the development body have been asked to install rumblers near the Kamshet tunnel, where the motorists tend to increase speed. The Pune district collector will issue a notification specifying the speed limit for the vehicles and the lanes to be used by them. While the third lane would be meant only for heavy vehicles, the middle lane would be reserved for medium and light vehicles.
"Errant motorists would be fined according to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act," said Dhaygude.
Several government officials and NGOs have expressed their displeasure over the manner in which the expressway is being maintained.
There has also been pressure on the government to construct a divider near the Urse toll plaza and Kamshet tunnel.