Mumbai's killer roads: Speeding by heavy vehicles top cause of mishaps on Magathane flyover bridge

Aug 31, 2018, 07:49 IST | Samiullah Khan

Steep slopes at both ends of Magathane flyover bridge in Borivli, narrowing of the road because of ongoing Metro work, lack of signage are big contributors to accidents at this spot

Mumbai's killer roads: Speeding by heavy vehicles top cause of mishaps on Magathane flyover bridge
The spot opposite Metro Mall at Magathane, Borivli West, narrows suddenly owing to the Metro work, creating bottlenecks and confusion

Magathane Flyover Bridge,
Borivli

This spot on the Western Express Highway, at Magathane, Borivli East, has a flyover with steep slopes at both ends causing confusion among motorists and bikers. The area below the flyover, too, is a major problem with accidents taking place here regularly. The most accidents reported in the area involve bikers and a majority of the cases are hit-and-runs. At the point where the flyover joins the WEH, it becomes difficult to control speed. This happens at the turn towards Borivli on an uphill slope and motorists and bikers take some time to figure out which road to take, resulting in accidents.

Vehicles follow no lane discipline at this spot. Pics/Nimesh Dave
Vehicles follow no lane discipline at this spot. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Case studies: On March 4, 2018, police inspector Shatrughan Rane, 45, was on his way home on a motorbike, when he was knocked down by an unknown vehicle on the flyover. Till date, the cops have been unable to find the vehicle that ran him over. He is survived by his wife and two children, a daughter in Std XI and a son aged 11.

Omnath Jha, Satyandra Jha and Shabana Patel
Omnath Jha, Satyandra Jha and Shabana Patel

His wife, Geeta, said, "After the accident, we visited the spot and found that there was no divider there, which is what caused the accident. People driving on this stretch need to be extremely alert." Geeta said big vehicles enter the city without any checks and they are the main cause of accidents here. Also, she said, traffic diversions set up in the evenings cause confusion among drivers, leading to accidents.

Map

On August 4, 2018, engineering student Omnath Jha, 23, and a relative, Satyandra Jha, 32, a freelance video editor, were riding on the highway and in front of the Metro Mall an unknown vehicle hit them and fled. While Omnath died on the spot, Satyandra's jaw and chest bone were broken at several places.

On November 6, in 2017, Shabana Patel, 34, was killed by a dumper while crossing the road. The Kasturba police managed to arrest the dumper driver. Nilofer Patel, Shabana's sister said the signal was shut and people were crossing the road but the driver was reckless.

Kaushik Panchal

Locals speak
Kaushik Panchal, resident
'Speeding is the biggest reason for accidents at this spot. Now that work on the metro has started, the northern end has become extremely narrow. This has led to an increase in traffic and speeding along with rash driving leads to accidents'

Firoz Khan

Firoz Khan,
advocate, resident
'Heavy traffic on the WEH is a usual sight, especially from National Park to Thakur Complex. But, confusion happens at the Tata flyover, which is constructed without any thought. Its slope is too steep. The area also lacks proper traffic signs, such as speed limit, keep left, flyover ahead, etc. Motorists should stick to lanes'

Bala Saheb Ghadge

Police speak
Bala Saheb Ghadge,
senior PI, traffic, Dahisar division
'Accidents that happen here are at times because of one's own carelessness or that of others. This road needs regular maintenance to bring down the number of accidents. Taking peak hour traffic into account, we deploy staff for smooth flow of traffic. The spot is covered over 24 hours as it is on the highway and flow of traffic is generally heavy.'

Dr Dewan Rahul Nanda

Expert speak
Dr Dewan Rahul Nanda,
Group Chairman & Founder, TOPSLINE
'We have been observing several road accidents occurring near Magathane Bridge on both the northern and southern end. The main reasons for this are the poor state of roads, and the fact that they narrow down suddenly at certain spots thanks to Metro work. Widening of roads, proactive supervising by traffic marshalls along with regular road maintenance can help solve the increasing number of accidents here'

Problems

  • Road slopes dangerously
  • No proper lanes
  • A bottleneck at one spot as the road is not properly designed

Solutions

  • Proper lanes needed
  • Road signs should be placed within sight, and the flyover and road below should have markings
  • Dividers need to be properly marked

Total Accidents 14 (2017-2018)

Types of accidents:
Most accidents on this stretch involve bikes, where heavy vehicles run them over. Pedestrians also get run over by speeding motorists while crossing the road in the path of oncoming vehicles.

Total casualties

  • 05 Death
  • 02 Major injuries
  • 12 Minor injuries
  • Source: Traffic department

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