The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which has constructed several flyovers in Mumbai, seems to have given the Road Safety Campaign a miss. As a result, there are no banners or hoardings to create awareness about safe driving on the flyovers in the city. In addition, MiD DAY found potholes on many stretches of the Western Express Highway, and several spots where pavers were either uneven or completely uprooted.
When a senior MSRDC official was asked what steps were being taken to promote safe driving during the road safety campaign, the official pointed out that they were distributing handbills on safe driving at various toll plazas. The Mumbai Entry Point Limited (MEPL) has been given the responsibility for collecting toll at the five entry points in Mumbai by MSRDC. As a result, MEPL also looks after the maintenance and repair work of the flyovers constructed by MSRDC.
However, there were no banners or hoardings put up by MSRDC when MiD DAY traveled on some of the flyovers on the Western Express Highway, maintained by MEPL. Apart from that, there were no banners or hoardings on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and Reclamation, which were also developed by MSRDC.
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There were banners at some places but those had been instated by the Traffic Police Department. One banner was found near the sea link saying ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’. Apart from this, the Western Express Highway flyovers had no banners on road safety. The Dahisar Toll Plaza was also devoid of any hoardings or banners on the subject.
When we tried to speak to MSRDC regarding the programmes that were being undertaken by the corporation, vice-chairman and managing director Bipin Shrimali did not answer our call despite several attempts. However, in reply to the SMS send by this reporter, he gave us the number of one Executive Engineer A P Abrol of MSRDC.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Abrol, who looks after the Mumbai-Pune Expressway said, “We know that the road safety campaign is going on and we are distributing safety pamphlets and warning slips to motorists at toll plazas on the Expressway. We are also distributing safety pamphlets to motorists at Khalapur, Talegaon and other toll plazas. The pamphlets are also being distributed at food courts along the expressway and we have also requested the Traffic Police Department to conduct an extensive drive about safety and drink-driving on the expressway.”
Having asked the officials to send details about the programmes undertaken by MSRDC on Mumbai-Pune Expressway and other places during the road safety campaign, MiD DAY only received the pictures of hoardings at two toll plazas on the expressway, that too, clicked on the same day.
Highway Safety programmes of National Highway Authority & MSRDC
Black spots - the Dangerous locations on the road should be identified and repaired.
Potholes - The potholes on the road should be repaired.
Signboard and Information Board - Wherever necessary, Signals should be installed and in order to provide information to the passengers and drivers signboard and information boards should be installed.
Repairing and painting of dividers - the dividers should be repaired and where necessary they should also be painted.
Repairing - The non-functional signals, damaged boards, blinker lamps should be repaired.
Zebra Crossing - Zebra crossings should be painted at all the important junctions.
Passenger Information Boards should be installed.
Caution and diversion boards should be instated at various places where road-repair work is going on.