Ambernath's shame: 5-km highway to hell killed 185 in 10 years

Updated: Aug 09, 2019, 07:30 IST | Anamika Gharat | Mumbai

Data accessed by mid-day shows that deadly stretch in Ambernath where a police constable died on Tuesday while swerving away from a pothole has been wrecking lives for over a decade and traffic police's pleas to corporation have gone unheeded

Pothole stretch in Ambernath
Pothole stretch in Ambernath

In the past decade, about 185 people have died on the pothole-strewn five km stretch in Ambernath, where traffic constable Sanjeev Patil lost his life on Tuesday. Traffic police statistics accessed by mid-day reveal that the road has been the most accident-prone, injuring over 427 on the stretch. Traffic cops have been sending letters to the Ambernath Municipal Corporation for the last few years, telling them to fill potholes urgently, but the civic body has allegedly not taken any action. The data also mentions that people suffered serious injuries in 590 of the reported accidents. In 2009, 18 deaths were reported. In 2010, the toll stood at 16, in 2011 it was at 17, while 19 deaths were reported in 2012, 15 in 2013, 19 in 2014, 19 in 2015, 14 in 2016, 16 in 2017, 15 in 2018 and until June this year, 17 deaths were caused by road accidents on the stretch.

Will lead to an accident

Traffic police officials said the road has caused a total of 185 deaths and injured 427 in 599 reported cases of road accidents. Amongst these 99 per cent of accidents have occurred due to bad road conditions, skidding bikes and people being crushed by vehicles. mid-day has a copy of the 2018 and 2019 letters sent by the traffic police to AMC, asking them to repair potholes on the stretch. In the letters, Prashant Satere and Sunil Jadhav, former and current police inspectors of the traffic police respectively, have stated, "Outside Ambernath east and west railway station and on the Kalyan-Badlapur road, several potholes have been spotted at seven major points of the road. This condition of the roads will lead to an accident. School buses, parents who carry their children, women drivers and so many others are facing several issues while riding on this road. They slow down to avoid the pothole or damage to their vehicle and it leads to traffic congestion. Therefore, please inspect the road and kindly repair it." In response to the letters, AMC seems to be passing the buck to other authorities.

Until June this year, 17 deaths were caused by road accidents along this stretch alone
Until June this year, 17 deaths were caused by road accidents along this stretch alone

AMC says

Speaking to mid-day, AMC's chief officer, Devidas Pawar said, "We repaired roads that come under the corporation in May. Even now, we regularly inspect roads and administer immediate remedy. But the roads that come under PWD and MMRDA are the most affected. After traffic police alerted me about the same, I wrote a letter to MMRDA and PWD to repair the roads, but nothing has been done."

Also read: Cop on duty avoiding pothole run over by truck in Ambernath

Bharat Khare

Ulhasnagar resident loses his life

Bharat Khare, a resident of Ulhasnagar, who was severely injured in an accident on the same stretch three months ago, breathed his last on Thursday. He had lost control of his motorbike after it hit a pothole, leaving him with serious head injuries.

Over 1,000 potholes

On Thursday, activist Satyejeet Burman tried to count the potholes on the Kalyan- Badlapur road, from the Forest Naka area to Gandhi Chowk and found more than 1,000 on the 5-km stretch. He said, "Civic authorities are responsible for each and every death of innocent citizens. The departments concerned failed to provide pothole-free roads. They misuse their power [while being] hand-in-glove with unqualified contractors and corporators."

Also read: Here's why Ambernath villagers holding up city's dumping ground project

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