Businessman Cyrus Mistry met with a fatal accident on this highway last month
As many as 50 emergency booths installed on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad national highway to be useful in times of emergency, now lay dead and dysfunctional. Called Save Our Souls (SOS) booths, they come with a button that when pressed alert emergency services to rush to the spot. But an on-ground investigation by this mid-day reporter has unearthed shocking conditions, where even the telephones installed inside these booths have been stolen.
According to statistics, around 30,000 vehicles ply on the highway daily, and on a mere stretch of 120 km between Dahisar checknaka and Gujarat border, about 250 accidents take place on average every year.
This reporter could locate only a few SOS booths on either side of the highway, and none of them had a working system. “All booths installed on the highway for emergency purposes are now dysfunctional and the telephones have been stolen. There is no maintenance being done either. To make up for this loss, signboards with emergency contacts like that of the police and ambulance have been put up,” a police officer stationed at the highway told mid-day.
He added, “To get through the emergency numbers is sometimes very difficult when the location is practically a no man’s land on the highway. But with the SOS booths and the buttons fixed therein, the location of the emergency would reach the control room, police and medical services in real time.”
No of vehicles plying on the highway daily
No of accidents on an average in a year