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Footpaths, speed breakers necessary for road safety at Chandani chowk

Death of two citizens at this spot has now shifted the focus on the need for safe and clearly demarcated footpaths at Chandani chowk

pune Updated: Jul 29, 2017 15:18 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Footpaths,speed breakers,road safety
The speeding dumper also crashed into another car at Chandani chowk.(HT PHOTO)

When the driver of a dumper lost control of his vehicle while over speeding, three people came under its wheels in Chandani chowk on the steep slope going towards Kothrud Depot. All the victims were pedestrians walking on the road instead of the footpath and two of them died on the spot. The shocking incident has now shifted the focus on the need for safe and clearly demarcated footpaths at Chandani chowk.

“People in the city tend to walk on the road instead of the footpaths because there are no clear, neatly constructed footpaths present,” said Raghunath Phuge, senior police officer of Kothrud police station, who is currently investigating the accident case.

Lakhs of people visit Chandani chowk as falls on the way while going towards Mumbai, Hinjewadi IT park, Kothrud Depot and Satara.Hence, there is a mixed flow of traffic including autos, cycle rickshaws, buses, cars and other vehicles. The number of pedestrians is also relatively high as the junction is a connecting point to many places in the city.

Locals have often pointed out the need for footpaths, especially on the road on the steep slope going towards Kothrud Depot. Vehicles usually don’t slow down at the slope, which often causes mishaps owing to the fact that the road has no space for pedestrians to walk.

In August last year, the minister of road transport and highways and shipping, Nitin Gadkari, had held a meeting with the national highway authority of India (NHAI) and had proposed a plan. According to the scheme, the vehicle underpass, exactly in front of the proposed 24 metre DP road to serve the Pashan locality, was initiated. Besides, a flyover from Mulshi for Satara and Kothrud bound traffic was also proposed and accepted.

But even after this plan,the traffic congestion is yet to be solved. From 2012, as many as 69 serious accidents and 35 fatalities have been reported from this area and many citizens have constantly raised concern over the issue. The chowk is a major entry point on NH-4 from the Kothrud side and as many as 1.80 lakh vehicles pass through this junction daily.

“The slope at the spot towards Kothrud depot road always triggers accident as drivers do not slow down their vehicles here. There are no speed breakers as well. Hence, the traffic flow is largely unregulated,” said Pooja Bhalke, an eyewitness of the accident.

Shailendra Patil said that for the past few years, residents had been demanding speed breakers on Kothrud depot road near the chowk. “The stretch was always accident-prone and we witness accidents almost every week. People should avoid speeding at this junction,” he added.

First Published: Jul 29, 2017 15:16 IST