In the wake of a spate of accidents on the expressway, Pune district collector Saurabh Rao said that he planned to reactivate the speed gun monitoring system on the Pune Mumbai E-way as part of the immediate short-term measures to prevent accidents. In an Idea Exchange interaction with The Indian Express on Wednesday, he said that overspeeding on the e-way was a major concern and all the accidents on the e-way had taken place as the driver was driving above the maximum limit of 80 km per hour.
“All the recent accidents, including the one which took place on Tuesday, occurred due to overspeeding. We want to strengthen the speed gun checks on the e-way and ensure that the driver is intercepted at the toll posts for speeding,’’ said the collector. The project is part of the intelligent traffic management system which aims to cover the entire Mumbai-Pune expressway with surveillance cameras that will be linked to a control room, relaying information of any cases of over-speeding and lane-cutting. Staff at the control room will also be able to alert hospitals and ambulance machinery in case of any mishap.
The collector said that recently the Chief Minister had convened a meeting to reactivate the intelligent road transport management system which would put a check on speeds and ensure trauma centres and CCTV cameras along the e-way. The collector added that he had conducted several meetings with the highway police on overspeeding and put up the necessary signage along the way as short-term measures.
When asked about reducing the maximum speed limit to 60 km per hour, he said he would examine the issue. “I will try and expedite all the measures to reduce the number of accidents on the e-way. We will have to technically examine the issue of speed limit,’’ he said.
While he had taken efforts to reduce the time at toll booths to three minutes at Khed Shivapur, Solapur road and the expressway, he said there were several complaints about huge queues along the e-way at the toll booths and these needed to be addressed.
He added that in the recent meeting held earlier this month under the CM on the intelligent traffic management system and the efforts to avoid accidents on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had given IRB a limit of 60 days to comply with safety instructions. The meeting took place after a major accident along the e-way. A luxury bus rammed into two cars and fell into a ditch and killed 17 people and left 33 people injured. The CM, in the meeting, had also directed the traffic police and the highway police to figure out their man management in a way so that there was sufficient staff to monitor the e-way all the 365 days of the year.