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NCP leader killed, as auto turns turtle

The auto rickshaw he was travelling in keeled over when the driver applied the brakes to avoid crashing into a two-wheeler coming from the wrong side.
Dr Ghule, a resident of Rajyog Society in Padmavati, is survived by his wife Smita, daughter Aishwarya and son Manas. He was to travel to Mumbai by train to attend a meeting of the Doctors Cell, and had taken the auto around 6.30 am to reach Pune station.


Sudden death: The spot where Dr Dilip Ghule died yesterday

The deceased had his own car, but since his driver was on leave, he opted to hire a three-wheeler. When he came to Swami Vivekanand statue junction near Padmavati, he saw an auto driver – later identified as Dhondiba Masaji Shinde (58) of Dhankawadi –, parked there. He asked Shinde to take him to station. “The meter of the rickshaw caused serious injuries to Dr Ghule’s chest,” said Sandeep Kunjir, brother-in-law of the deceased.

Assistant commissioner of police (Swargate division) Vasant Sonawane said, “The auto carrying Dr Ghule had reached Bibwewadi junction where construction work on a pedestrian subway is on. The road has been lifted in parts due to the underground work, resulting in unevenness in and around the junction.

The driver spotted a two-wheeler coming from the opposite side and, to avoid a collision, he applied the brakes. Owing to a slope near the subway, the auto turned turtle and Dr Ghule received serious injuries to his head and chest. He was immediately moved to Rao Nursing Home by the auto driver and other citizens, but he succumbed to the injuries around 1.30 pm. A case is being registered against the driver. He’ll be arrested on charges of negligent driving.”

Expressing her condolences on Facebook, NCP leader Supriya Sule said, “Dr Ghule was close to our family and a dedicated activist of the party since its inception. When Sharad Pawar had decided to set up a Doctors Cell, the leadership obviously went to Dr Ghule. In the last 12 years, Dr Ghule worked particularly with malnourished children from Melghat and Jawhar areas of the state. He also worked for the Senior Citizens Cell of the party.” 

Accident-prone spot
The mishap took place on the BRT stretch of CD Deshmukh Road near Bibwewadi junction. Construction work on pedestrian subway has been going on at this junction for the past two years. The operation till now has been completed in three parts, with the last leg remaining. The concept of partially-underground pedestrian subway is being implemented here, owing to which the road has become bumpy in and around the junction. After laying down the slab of the subway, tar roads have been constructed with a high gradient on both sides. Once vehicles leave the signal at high speed, drivers tend to lose control because of the slant, resulting in minor accidents regularly, which go unreported.

> December 27, 2011: PMC issues work order to contractor to start pedestrian subway construction at Bibwewadi junction, which was expected to be completed in a year.

> October 2012: The construction work actually began, and is 60 to 70 per cent complete now. It is expected to finish by March 2014. 

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