Week after accident, authorities put signboard to warn motorists, but activist says ‘L-shaped death trap’ that killed Cyrus Mistry is still not on their radar
The signboard has been erected 150 metres before the blackspot where the Mercedes carrying Cryus Mistry rammed into a divider. Pic/Hanif Patel
Five days after the fatal road accident of industrialist Cyrus Mistry and his friend Jehangir Pandole, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has put a reflector and warning sign board to “Go Slow”, but there are no rumble strips to alert drivers of potential danger, or any prior indication of the road narrowing from three to two lanes, leading to the “L” shaped death trap. mid-day has been relentlessly reporting on the blackspots on the highway and non-action by authorities.
The “Go Slow” board has been erected hardly 150 metres before the blackspot where the Mercedes carrying Mistry and three others rammed into a divider last Sunday evening. Speaking with mid-day, Harbans Singh Nanade, spokesperson of All India Vahan Chalak Malak Mahasangha said, “The NHAI officials have put up a warning sign board for the motorists to ‘Go Slow’, but there is no board to suggest the speed limit, or how slow should one go at the same blackspot,” he said, adding, “The entire stretch of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway is a ‘maut ka kuan’ (well of death), where motorists are driving their vehicles at their own risk. The authority is only extorting ‘toll’ for not maintaining the roads.”
He said that Mistry died in the road crash because of “poor road engineering and the lackadaisical attitude of NHAI officials”. “The police must book NHAI officials for their negligent work, as they did nothing to make the carriageway smooth,” he said.
Explaining the sequence of events, mid-day last week had highlighted how dreadful the “V” and “L” shapes are at the blackspot where Mistry died. But even after 72 hours, the NHAI had not put up any warning signs for the motorists leaving the blackspot exposed for hundreds of motorists on the carriageway. “It is not the first accident at the blackspot. Many people have died on the same spot, in some cases the vehicles have fallen down in the Surya river after dashing the L-shaped structure on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. But the NHAI officers did nothing to rectify the death trap,” Nanade said. Repeated calls and messages sent to senior NHAI officials, Suraj K Singh and his associate Rahul Jalan, went unanswered.