Next time you’re driving through the Belapur pass on the Sion-Panvel highway, slow down once you reach the middle of the road after the upward slope. If you zoom ahead, you might have an accident, thanks to the steep curve which has a gradient of six. The permissible limit is two.
The Navi Mumbai traffic police has blamed the steep bend that occurs suddenly after the upward slope for most of these accidents. Many accidents have not even been registered, as no casualties were reported.
“The slope gradient on the Sion-Panvel highway at the Belapur bypass is responsible for the frequent accidents. Technically, the gradient should not be more than two. When the vehicles reach the middle of the pass after the upward slope, an intense steep begins on the highway. It is here that drivers lose control of the vehicle,” said Vijay Patil, deputy police commissioner, traffic, Navi Mumbai.
The Navi Mumbai traffic police has suggested changes to the Public Works Department (PWD), as a widening of the Sion-Panvel highway is underway. “We cannot put barricades on the highway in the pass, as it will force vehicles to come to a halt and cause more congestion. We have talked to the PWD and it will reduce the gradient of the highway,” said Patil.
However, do not celebrate just as yet. Repair work will be carried out only by next year when work on the widening of the road is likely to begin. “We are going to reduce the slope by around 10 feet. We expect that the reduction of the slope will be finished in one year,” Rajesh Jawalkoti, deputy engineer, PWD.
In the last one year, over 50 accidents have occurred on the pass. Most of the vehicles lost their balance while five incidents caused fatal injuries.