Having achieved positive results after building a safety fence on one part of the Mumbai-Pune expressway, officials from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) have decided to fence the entire 95-kilometre stretch at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore.
The safety fence made up of brifen wire rope had been installed last month on a trial basis across a 2.5-km-long stretch between the 73 km and 77 km stretch. It cost Rs 88 lakh. The decision to install the brifen safety fence was taken after the rising number of accidents on the expressway.
MSRDC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Bipin Srimali said, “The brifen ropes which were installed by us have proven to be very useful as they are helping in reducing the number of fatalities. The fence prevents vehicles from entering the lanes on the other side of the road.
We are planning to install the same ropes on the entire expressway.” Officials from MSRDC said that the safety fence was highly effective as it had prevented an accident similar to the one that had claimed the lives of two Marathi actors on December 24, 2012. They said that the ropes had prevented the vehicle from crossing the divider and going on to the other side, thus helping in avoiding a major mishap. However, the decision to install the safety fence across the entire stretch has not been received well by a few.
Dilip Bhujbal, SP (highway traffic), Pune region said, “I think that before taking a decision to install the brifen safety ropes on the expressway, the MSRDC should wait as installing it on the entire stretch is very expensive. We feel that there should be proper medians, which can also stop vehicles from crossing over to the other lanes during accidents.”
Apart from installation of the safety fence, the MSRDC decided to construct an ultra-modern truck terminus on the expressway where drivers can halt and take rest. It has been observed that most accidents happen when drivers feel sleepy behind the wheel. The MSRDC also decided to speed up the work of setting up a trauma centre, equipped with an air ambulance facility, on the Lonavala-Pune stretch of the expressway. In addition, signboards mentioning speed limit and accident-prone areas would also be installed along the road, and messages raising awareness about slow driving would be spread at toll plazas.