Several pedestrians die each year in Navi Mumbai. But, the residents seem unperturbed by the high numbers.
“The Thane-Belapur Road alone, has witnessed a few serious accidents in the recent past. Thousands of people cross this busy road every day, violating traffic norms in the process. This has been the cause of frequent accidents on this stretch,” a senior police officer from the traffic department said.
More than hundred IT parks have sprung up in the MIDC areas of Navi Mumbai in the last five to six years, and people from across Mumbai travel to these locations every day. According to local traders, a majority of these employees walk it down to their workplaces in the IT parks from the railway station, and in the process cross the TB Road.
“Around 10,000 people from the western and central suburbs have their offices in these IT parks.
Also, a huge number of labourers come to work at the constructions sites in the area, and very few obey of them follow traffic norms while crossing the road,” said Ramesh Mhatre, a trader from Rabale.
“To reduce the number of road accidents in the satellite city, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation constructed a foot overbridge (FOB) outside Rabale railway station, which was inaugurated only a few months ago. Unfortunately, the FOB is used by few. Around 3,000 people cross the road each day, to reach their offices in the morning and to reach the Rabale station in the evening,” Mhatre said.
While the traffic department blames pedestrians for not following traffic norms, lack of infrastructure on the road is also causing these frequent accidents.
A 21-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl died in a road accident after their scooty was hit by a vehicle near Airoli station around two weeks ago. There were no CCTV cameras near the accident spot, and cops are still clueless about the identity of the driver of the killer vehicle.
“Traffic officials arrived and installed a rumbler strip just a few yards away from the accident spot two days after the fatal accident. Were they waiting for someone to die there before undertaking that task? Hundreds of people have to cross the road to reach their offices outside Airoli station as well. But there are no proper traffic signals anywhere in the area,” said Babul Nath, a resident.
“There is an FOB on the road, but that is roughly one kilometre away from the railway station. The traffic and civic departments should think of constructing another FOB outside Airoli station, as they did in Rabale,” he said.
Nineteen people died in the 89 accidents on the Thane-Belapur road in 2012, against 18 deaths in the 246 accidents in 2011.
Vijay Patil, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) said, “It has been observed that despite constructing a FOB, people continue to cross roads and violate traffic norms. We have to put fencing on the dividers to prevent people from crossing roads. We increased the height of the fencing to up to 5.5 feet in Turbhe to stop people from crossing the road. We are considering taking similar steps in Rabale and Airoli.”
“We have sent a proposal to the NMMC for installing a traffic signal outside Airoli railway station just a few days ago. If it is approved, the signal will be installed within a month. The number of road accidents will definitely come down if each and every citizen obeys traffic norms,” he said.
Office commute turns deadly
Nineteen people did in the 89 accidents on the Thane-Belapur Road in 2012, against 18 deaths in the 246 accidents in 2011
Around 3,000 people cross the road each day, to reach their offices in the morning and to reach the Rabale railway station in the evening
Over 100 IT parks have sprung up in the MIDC areas of in the last 5-6 years.