Navi Mumbai: Sion-Panvel highway officials booked for pothole death

Jul 06, 2017, 18:27 IST | Faisal Tandel

The accident on Tuesday killed one driver
The accident on Tuesday killed one driver

The Sion-Panvel highway continues to be a highway to hell. Four officials of the Sion-Panvel Tollway Private Limited (SPTPL), which is tasked with the upkeep of the ill-maintained roadway, have been booked after an accident on Tuesday killed one driver.

Potholes at the Vashi junction of the Sion-Panvel highway. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Potholes at the Vashi junction of the Sion-Panvel highway. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The incident took place on Tuesday at 6.30 am on the Uran Phata flyover. A speeding truck on its way to Mumbai rammed into the rear end of a pickup van carrying fish, which collided with two more trucks. A driver died on the spot, while two others were injured.

The highway is poorly maintained and is slippery at several stretches and full of potholes as well. Taking a serious note of the incident, the Nerul police registered a case against five people, including SPTPL employees - Pawnit Singh Seti, vice president, Vibhudutt Satpati, assistant vice president, Ramzan Patel, project manager and Sanjit Shrivastav, maintenance manager and Santosh Rajput, the truck driver that caused the accident.

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A video of the dangerous accident shows the poor condition of the road. "We are gathering evidence and are yet to arrest the four members of SPTPL. They too were responsible, so we booked them," said S Pathare, deputy commissioner of police, zone 1, Vashi. Nitin Pawar, deputy commissioner of police, traffic division, Navi Mumbai said, "We made several attempts to inform them about the dangerous road. But nothing has changed."

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RT Patil, superintendent engineer, PWD and Sion-Panvel Highway confirmed the case and said, "We had informed them regularly as well, but it was not repaired. PWD has given the Sion-Panvel Highway to SPTPL for maintenance."

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Pawar added, "A meeting was also held on July 3 to inform and alert them that a case will be registered." In attendance for the meeting were senior police, PWD, CIDCO and traffic department officials. The Navi Mumbai police informed them about the potholes that need filling and asked them to install CCTV at Vashi and Kalamboli.

Accused says
Speaking to mid-day Sanjit Shrivastav claimed SPTPL has been maintaining the roadway from 2015, "We look after the maintenance work of the road from Kalamboli to BARC in Mankhurd and repair it several times. The accident spot has a board with 'go slow' sign, but it would be the driver fault [if they ignored it]. I know I have been booked, but what is my fault? I have repaired the highway."

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