Mumbai: BMC turns blind eye to 6-km-long death trap under Wadala monorail
Including a recent accident, cracks on Wadala-Chembur Road have caused 10 mishaps this year; despite receiving letters from cops, the civic body has not taken any action
A 6-km-long Wadala-Chembur Link Road stretch under the monorail has developed cracks and literally become a deathtrap for commuters with 42 accidents last year and 10 this year including a casualty. The Wadala TT Police claimed they have sent many letters to BMC officials asking them to repair this dangerous stretch but nothing has been done till now.
A spot near Bhakti Park, where Shabaz Ali (insert) met with the accident. Pic/Shadab Khan
On Saturday too a near-fatal accident took place on the road when 26-year-old Shabaz Ali lost balance while riding his motorcycle on a crack on the road. Doctors at KEM hospital, where he was admitted, said he survived the accident only because of the helmet he was wearing.
Ali was going to his friend’s place in Wadala from his Ghatkopar-based office. At around 6.45pm, when he crossed the signal after Bhakti Park monorail station a massive 10-feet-long crack on the road made him lose balance. “I have ridden my bike on this road before but this time I was surrounded by vehicles and couldn’t change the lane. Riding on a speed of 35-40 km/hour, when I lost control, I realised that I am going to fall. So I left my grip on the handle and rolled on the road for at least 10-15 feet,” said Ali.
When he called for help, people pulled him to the side of the road. “I was unconscious for a few moments and woke up to see people asking me for someone’s contact. I gave them my friend’s phone number,” said Ali. Being close, his friend came in 10 minutes and took him to KEM Hospital for treatment.
The doctors at the hospital said that Ali has suffered several rib fractures and a fracture in his lower spinal cord which will take at least six months to recover.
His friend Anis Forkar, who took him to the hospital, said the spot is nothing less than a deathtrap for motorists. “Even cars have lost balance on the road. Some measures will have to be taken because people who aren’t aware of the cracks easily go in the right lane and lose balance,” said Forkar.
Ali, who is the breadwinner for his family of six — two sisters, a younger brother and parents — had joined a private firm a week ago as a manager. “Ali was the only breadwinner for the family but due to the accident, he will have to be on bed rest for at least six months. Who will be responsible for the physical and psychological stress caused to the family?” added Forkar.
While Wadala TT Police said they have time and again highlighted the situation before the authorities. “There were numerous accidents on the road and we had told BMC about the spot. We have personally met them and sent at least 10 letters in the past one and a half years but no action has been taken till date,” said an ex-senior police inspector at the station.
Senior Police Inspector Sushil Kamble, who took charge of the Wadala TT Police station a week back, said he is collecting the data and will follow up with the concerned authorities. “A total of 42 vehicular accidents took place on the same stretch last year and nine (excluding Ali’s accident as it wasn’t reported) have already taken place this year including a casualty,” said Kamble. Police also said that more accidents might have happened there that weren’t reported to the police.
The BMC said they have invited tenders to level the road. A senior BMC official said, “When the monorail was constructed, its girders were anchored deep inside the ground. And since the area where the road was laid down was originally a mangrove or a nullah, the base of the road is soft and makes it uneven. This affects the surface and its quality degrades. We have invited tenders for this road but we don't want to take risk. We will be sending this proposal to the STAC committee who will visit the site and give their expert opinion. Only then will we award contracts.”