Mumbai saw most accidents in Maharashtra in first six months of 2019
Mumbai witnessed 1,496 road accidents between January and June this year — the highest among 10 cities and 33 districts in Maharashtra — according to data from the state government.
A total of 206 people died, while 1,538 others were injured in these accidents. These were the highest figures among all the cities. Overall, Ahmednagar topped the list for the most number of road deaths (484) in this period.
However, the data also revealed that road accidents, injuries and deaths in Mumbai saw a decrease as compared to the same period last year. While road accidents dropped by 7.65%, deaths and injuries dropped by 17.27% and 9.95% respectively (see box).
Madhukar Pandey, joint commissioner of police (traffic), attributed this drop to various measures such as altering infrastructure (speed-breakers) and strict enforcement of laws against drink driving and over-speeding. “We also took collaborative measures to increase awareness for helmet-less riding and analysed blackspots on the city’s roads,” he said.
However, questions were raised about the high number of accidents even though Mumbai’s traffic flow is not smooth and is hindered by ongoing construction activities such as the Metro work.
“We need to conduct a clinical and forensic analysis of all the road crashes happening in Mumbai to give a holistic solution to the problem. Otherwise its just profit and loss statement,” said Yogesh Ambe, an independent road safety expert.
Data also revealed that Maharashtra witnessed 17,848 road accidents between January and June 2019, in which 6,844 people were killed and 15,697 others injured — all marginal dips from the same period last year.
Acting on a Supreme Court directive, the state government has already taken initiatives to reduce the number of accidents. It has formed a dedicated road safety cell, set up a road safety fund, identified accident-prone black spots and formed a state road safety council and district-wide road safety committee.
However, even after all these efforts, at least 13 people, including two children, were killed and 15 others injured when a container collided with a state transport bus in Dhule district late on Sunday.
“Continuous monitoring measures are in place and district road safety committees are carrying out quarterly reviews of accident mitigation measures,” said JB Patil, who heads the road safety cell.