Pune: A petrol pump near Taje village on Mumbai-Pune Expressway was the isolated spot where a gang of robbers targetted a family of three. But this is not the only unsafe spot where commuters should not be halting. According to regular commuters as well as local police officials, there are at least five dangerous spots on the stretch from Lonavala to Kamshet where robbers usually strike.
According to police officials of Kamshet police station: "A stretch of 20 kilometres near Kamshet is the most dangerous spot as the local residents have easy access to the expressway and they are very well aware of the short cuts and escape routes."
The issue of commuters safety on the ever busy expressway came to light when Amit Mali, his wife and daughter were attacked by a gang of robbers when they had halted for refreshment near at a petrol pump near Taje village on wee hours of Monday. Amit Mali had got down from his car and that was the time when robbers attacked his wife and daughter with sharp weapons and took away valuables by injuring both of them.
After the incident, team dna visited the expressway and spoke to police officials and regular commuters to find out the problems faced by commuters on the expressway.
According to police, The stretch from Pune to Lonavala is dangerous as there are lot of opening made by the local residents for easy access which results in these kind of incidents.
Lonavala police have identified couple of places that are dangerous to stop during night, as per the local police km 55 lonavala exit point, km 62 borse village are the dangerous spot where commuter should avert to stop during night.
The Lonaval rural police claim that they are doing continuous night patrolling as the entire eight kilometer stretch from Sinhagad Institute to Malwali is hazardous for commuters during night.
Lonaval rural police said,"Every month we register more than six compliant of robberies majority of them are the truck drivers and hardly 10 percent are car users. Most of the time the robbers snatch the gold ornaments, watches, mobile and cash from the commuters."
Inspector Vijay Jadhav, of Kamshet police said," Every month we get five to six complaints about small robberies . The common modus operandi of the robbers is to either throw egg on the windshield and when the driver of the car puts wiper on the egg spreads on the entire glass, blocking the visibility of the driver which forces driver to stop the car. As he stops the car, robbers attack the car occupants."
Jadhav added,"After spreading awareness among commuters such incidents were brought under control, however the robbers are now adopting new tactics to target commuters. we have increased the patrolling during night to avert such incidents.
* Sharad Kadam, 45, IT Professional, said, "As per my understanding the entire e-way is dangerous to travel during night as there is no patrolling and no security whatsoever on the e-way and also on the food joints. The government should do something about the safety of commuters who are paying so much for tolls."
* Suraj Choudhary, 31, businessmen, said, "The stretch from Pune to Lonaval has many opening due to which two wheelers have easy access. I feel that no one should stop anywhere on e-way during night apart from the food joints or toll booth where there are people round the clock. The areas like Talegoan, Malwali to pimploli are dangerous to stop during night."
* Laxman Mulchandani, 34, businessmen, said, "The areas like Baur, Orzade, Kusgaon are the most dangerous spots to stop during night as these areas are deserted and there is no patrolling and security on the route due to which the incident of robberies takes place in the area."