Residents avoid Katraj–Dehu road bypass highway for fear of accidents
Pune: The series of accidents and fatalities on the Katraj–Dehu road bypass highway has left the residents in the neighbourhood to avoid the deadly stretch — the highway and its service roads — to travel. They are now taking long routes to travel to their workplace and other destinations.
Three persons died in a recent accident near the Navale bridge on the slope where two trucks collided with each other. In another accident, a speeding truck hit a police vehicle on this stretch.
Several accidents have been reported on the Katraj to Navale bridge chowk and New Katraj tunnel to Navale bridge chowk stretch. It has become a “death stretch” leaving those who use these roads to avoid the service roads and the highway.
“It is a regular thing for us to see damaged vehicles or hear news of fatality on the highway. The accidents cause traffic jams. The residents of our residential society are shocked by the recent accidents involving trucks. We have decided to avoid taking the stretch. Instead, we now travel from Dattanagar chowk road and Satara road to our workplace and for other purposes. While this route is longer by around 2 to 3 kms, it is better to get late or drive a longer distance than risking our lives,” said Nimish Choudhary, resident of a housing society in Ambegaon Budruk located near the highway.
Residents of Narhe, Dhayari, Vadgaon Budruk and Warje areas have also started avoiding the bypass highway to travel.
“I use the highway to travel to my office. Sometimes, my six-year-old daughter also rides with me on the bike on this stretch. I had slipped on the highway during the rainy season a couple of years ago, but it was not a major accident. Since the last few months, I have been purposely avoiding the highway because of the increasing number of accidents on this stretch,” said Kamna Bhate, a resident of Narhe area.
Resident groups have been demanding separate lanes on service roads for regular traffic and ban on heavy vehicles during peak hours.
Ramesh Vidhate, secretary of Sinhagad Road Residents Forum, said, “Many citizens from our area travel through the bypass highway on bikes and cars for work, towards Hinjewadi, Chinchwad or other connecting places as it is convenient and saves time. With many mishaps on this stretch being reported and people losing their lives on the highway, we have demanded separate lanes should be kept on the service road for two-wheelers and heavy vehicles should not be allowed to pass during peak hours.”