Malad resident fights tooth and nail to ensure Link Road is made secure for pedestrians and others after losing her mum in an accident at InOrbit junction
After repeated complaints by Swapna Sankhe, authorities removed a part of the barricade put up for Metro construction work at InOrbit junction in Malad to allow pedestrians easier access to the zebra crossing
Goregaon and Malad residents have found a guardian angel, a woman who tirelessly pursued the issue of the dangers posed to pedestrians and others because of the condition the Link Road (from Bangur Nagar to Mith Chowki) has been in owing to Metro construction work.
Swapna Sankhe and her family with inspector Shankar Jadhav
Her efforts have borne fruit as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has made note of all her complaints and started implementing safety measures.
Victory, at last
Malad resident Swapna Sankhe, a chartered accountant who divides her time between India and Canada, poured all her energy in pushing the MMRDA and traffic department to secure the stretch.
“My mother died at a zebra crossing at the InOrbit junction. A speeding water tanker hit her from behind and crushed her to death. After this, I made it my life’s mission to ensure that that stretch was made safe for people as many in the area have faced a similar situation,” said Swapna, who had put up hand-drawn posters saying ‘Danger Zone’ at the junction to warn pedestrians. “Now, my mother’s soul can rest in peace... the authorities have come forward to make the necessary changes.”
The barricades erected for Metro construction work had enclosed the dividers, leaving no space for pedestrians while crossing the road at the busy junction. These had also obstructed pedestrians’ view of the traffic signal, creating blind spots for those on foot as well as motorists.
After mid-day reported on January 30 how Swapna’s mother had lost her life on January 15 on her way back home from a morning walk, the MMRDA and traffic police came together to help the daughter.
After the report was published, traffic inspector Shankar Jadhav, in-charge for Goregaon-Malad area, and Metro rail corporation officials called Swapna and her brother Gitesh to the site last Wednesday. They assured the two that they would push back the barricades.
“This small change will help to clear traffic obstruction at the signal, give space for pedestrian crossing and clear the blind spot, making both motorists and pedestrians aware. Metro officials have also promised us that they will instal lights at the junction as well as deploy a traffic guard during peak hours,” she added.
Missing third eye
The police had booked the driver of the water tanker, which had crushed Malad resident Swapna Sankhe’s mother to death, for reckless and negligent driving. But the driver managed to secure bail, with the case not being too watertight either, as the two CCTV cameras installed at the junction have been lying non-functional for months, and the accident couldn’t be captured.