LPG trucks parked illegally under Mysore Colony monorail station could be a safety threat
Illegally parked LPG and oil trucks under the Mysore Colony monorail station, all the way to a BPCL refinery, could prove to be hazardous in the event of a tragedy
A major mishap is waiting to happen near the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) refinery in Chembur East. Despite being a highly restricted area, illegal parking of trucks full of LPG cylinders and oil is rife on the stretch, where a monorail rake caught fire last week.
Last week's fire hasn't deterred drivers from illegally parking their lorries full of LPG cylinders and oil on the stretch. Pic/Ashish Raje
A single spark
Jamal Hussain Khan, local activist and trustee of the Darbar-e-Gazi dargah on Mahul road, said, "At night, vehicles loaded with LPG cylinders are parked below the station. A single spark here could lead to a big tragedy. Why are the authorities sleeping on this? How are they parking on this stretch when BPCL doesn't allow it? The stretch is residential, with a school in the adjoining area."
BPCL has stationed two security guards to ensure the stretch is free of parked vehicles. A guard said, "We are on duty from 8 am to 6 pm. But the lorry drivers threaten us; a few locals allow lorry drivers to park here for R120 for 12 hours. After 6 pm, when we go back, the stretch fills up."
Next to the monorail station are the Shri Narayan Acharya Vidya Niketan Marathi medium school, and residential complexes including the HPCL and BPCL colonies. More than 1,300 students use the stretch daily.
Change for a few days
School trustee Manik Patil said, "Thrice a year, we have meetings with the local police, traffic police and other bodies, about the parking and the risk faced by students. Things change for a few days before going back to square one. Once, parents and students even broke glass of the vehicles parked in front of the school."
A teacher said, "The lorry drivers just wait till 6 pm when the school is shut and they can use the service road in front of it. They have broken down the school gate so many times while taking a U-turn or parking the vehicle."
A senior officer from Trombay traffic division said, "We keep taking action against the illegally parked lorries, but the situation remains the same."
Shrikant Desai, senior inspector, RCF police station, said, "We had a meeting with traffic and BPCL authorities; it was decided that the trucks would be allowed to park at the Wadala truck terminus. Another solution discussed was starting a system where drivers would receive a message about their turn for refill and, accordingly, five trucks would be allowed in."
What BPCL's saying
A senior official from Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd told mid-day, "Presently, there is no vehicle parked under the Mysore Colony station. We are taking support from the traffic police to ensure there are no vehicles on the road. They have been asked to park at the Wadala truck terminus, but because it is too far, they park here. We are also coordinating with the traffic police and asking them to allow the vehicles to use the freeway while coming from Wadala."
Approximate number of students using the stretch daily and put at risk because of the illegal parking
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