Brace for unsafe Mumbai-Pune eway commute, MSRDC won’t upgrade ‘costly’ anti-crash system

Mumbai city news: Sources said the plan was junked as it would have burdened the cash-strapped MSRDC

mumbai Updated: Jun 26, 2017 10:48 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Mumbai Pune Expressway,MSRDC
Accidents on Mumabi-Pune Expressway have almost become a daily affair. (HT File )

Terming it ‘expensive’, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) dropped the plan to install Brifen wire rope safety fence (Brifen WRSF) along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

Sources said the plan was junked as it would have burdened the cash-strapped MSRDC.

“Brifen wires are imported from the UK and are priced at Rs5,200 per running meter. To install the wire just along the median would have cost us about Rs50 crore. The cost escalates threefold if we decided to install it all along the expressway,” said an official.

Averting disaster
  • Every Brifen fence is made of 21 high-tensile carbon steel wires and can be used for up to 18 years, said MSRDC engineers.
  • During a crash, the fence prevents a vehicle from jumping the median and crashing into the oncoming traffic from the opposite direction.

An engineer said the Brifen rope works better than crash barriers, which are easily damaged and cannot be re-used. The MSRDC had experimented with the Brifen fence on a 2.4-km-long stretch on the expressway in 2015.

The MSRDC officials defended their decision saying the fence was not specified under the Indian Road Congress (IRC) guidelines.

“That [previous installation] was an experiment; it is not in the (IRC) codes. We are going to install crash barriers and stick to the guidelines,” said RL Mopalwar, vice chairperson and managing director, MSRDC.

On June 22, the MSRDC floated tenders to install crash barriers on the median and ‘W’ crash barriers along the expressway.

However, transport experts slammed the MSRDC for choosing a cheaper alternative over human life. “It [human life] is the most precious and important thing. Any measure to save it must not be a profit or loss equation,” said AV Shenoy, transport expert.

First Published: Jun 26, 2017 10:47 IST