Named and shamed! After local residents paint killer speed bumps, PWD finally steps in to help
Day after this paper's report on local resident painting speed breakers on Nalasopara stretch, state govt agency swings into action
Sameer Vartak points to the newly painted speed breaker. Pic/Hanif Patel
A social worker and resident of Wagholi village in Nalasopara has managed to wake up authorities from their slumber — Sameer Vartak, who had taken it upon himself to repaint the eight speed breakers on the four-kilometre stretch between Wagholi village and Kalamb beach, in a bid to curb accidents, finally has help in the form of workers from Public Works Department (PWD), who have started the job.
One of the repainted speed breakers on the Wagholi-Kalamb beach stretch
mid-day had reported on February 16 about Vartak taking matters into his own hands and starting the paint job. "There's a huge flow of vehicles on this stretch having eight speed breakers. I have just begun the work; I plan to paint one every night," Vartak, a former zilla parishad member, had said then.
Finally, after starting the work on his own, the PWD has now jumped in and is continuing the job. When contacted, deputy engineer of PWD Rajaram Agdale said, "We have started painting the speed breakers and will finish it soon."
Due to speeding and absence of streetlights in the area, dozens of people have lost their lives in road accidents on that stretch and hundreds have sustained serious injuries, many of them residents of Wagholi village.
Residents said the area sees a lot of tourists, headed to Nirmal and Kalamb beaches, and as a result, the number of vehicles passing that stretch is high. Villagers added that they have witnessed two to three accidents in a single week many times. Vartak had told mid-day, "Whenever there was an accident, locals would approach me for help. We would inform cops and rush the victims to hospital. Some have even died in my arms."
Despite being accident-prone, the stretch got speed breakers only after villagers made noise in the zilla parishad office, demanding speed bumps on the stretch. As Vartak was a zilla parishad member, people had complained to him; he had then taken the complaints to the authorities concerned repeatedly over months, but in vain.
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