The Highway Police have submitted a report to the state government in the last week of June, proposing a dedicated police force, apart from guidelines for smooth operation and better co-ordination between various entities tasked with policing the 94-km stretch of the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.
In the fifth part of the MiD DAY Expressway campaign, we bring you the suggestions put forward by the Highway Police seeking to resolve several issues related to jurisdiction and the need for facilities on the stretch.
In its report, a three-member committee headed by Superintendent of Police (Highways) Dilip Bhujbal, which includes MSRDC and IRB officials, suggested that there is need for a separate Expressway police station to deal with issues pertaining to law enforcement and prompt action in case of accidents.
The committee also proposed the need for well-equipped paramedical staff and ambulances, and heavy-duty cranes strategically located on the Expressway.
“There is major confusion when it comes to jurisdiction on the Expressway and the Highway Police, which currently looks after the enforcement factor, does not have sufficient manpower and lacks infrastructure and equipment like speed guns and other related material,” Bhujbal said.
He added that a separate Expressway police station could deal with issues like fining offenders, investigating accident cases, booking violators and providing paramedical facility in case of accidents.
“The 94 km stretch of Expressway is lacking major traffic infrastructural facilities and there are no proper posts for police personnel, who look after the smooth functioning of traffic on the Expressway,” Bhujbal said.
He said that the committee recently pointed out that absence of a single enforcement authority is creating confusion amongst officials of the Highway Police, IRB and MSRDC, and formation of an Expressway police station would resolve several issues.
The Expressway is governed by four police posts of the Highway Police, which also fall in the jurisdictions of police stations in Pune, Thane and Raigad.
These police posts are at Vadgaon, Khandala, Borghat and Palaspi and the Pune-Mumbai Highway (NH-4) comes under the jurisdiction of these four posts initially created to take care of patrolling and law enforcement on the Expressway.
“The areas of jurisdiction for the Highway Police are not specified on paper. We have mutually allotted the different areas of the Expressway and conduct our work accordingly,” Bhujbal said.
Important points in committee’s proposal
>> Formation of separate Highway Police authority for 94 km stretch to cover all issues related to law enforcement
>> Installation of CCTV cameras to monitor speeding, maintain lane discipline
>> Digital display units at toll plazas to aware commuters of safety measures
>> IRB and MSRDC-owned crane facility to be provided in case of accident or emergency free of cost
>> Reinstallation of signages as per Indian Road Congress norms
>> Sealing of all illegal median punctures by constructing protective wall