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Bandra Worli Sea Link accident: MSRDC to revise SOPs after accident that killed 5 persons

An MSRDC official also said that the driver of the erring car was drunk and driving at a high speed and lost control over the wheels.

Five people were killed and another eight persons were injured in a collission between an ambulance and four cars on the southbound stretch of the Bandra Worli sea link in the wee hours of Wednesday. (Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which takes care of Mumbai’s iconic Bandra Worli Sea link, Wednesday said they have all safety protocols in place. Whenever an emergency takes place, their dedicated rescue team reaches the spot along with an ambulance. However, considering the severity of Wednesday morning’s accident, where five persons were killed, the MSRDC has decided to revise their standard operating procedure so that such accidents do not occur in the future, said officials.

An official said, “Safety barricades and cones were set up around 500 metre ahead of the spot where the staffers were engaged in rescue works. The driver of the erring car not only overlooked the barriers but also rammed into the stationary vehicles and the people. The driver was drunk and driving at a high speed and lost control over the wheels.”

Five people were killed and eight people were injured after an accident involving an ambulance and four cars on the southbound stretch of the Bandra Worli Sea Link in Mumbai early on Wednesday. The accident took place around 3:30 am Wednesday which claimed the lives of five persons, including staffers of the toll operating agency and a safety manager.

A police official said during a probe into the incident they found that a car initially hit a divider on the bridge and an ambulance was rushed to the spot for assistance. The occupants of two other cars also halted their vehicles to provide help, he said. At the time, another car rammed into the three stationary cars and the ambulance, the official said.

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According to the MSRDC official, the erring driver got only minor injuries and is now in police custody.

The officials further said, “Our rescue team went with an ambulance although the complaint was only that of vehicle breakdown. Ambulances are always sent since it may not be just a mechanical help that is needed, it could also be a medical emergency.”

The 5.6-km Bandra Worli Sea Link is the iconic bridge of the city and caters almost exclusively to Mumbai’s privileged car-owners. It was officially named as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea-Link which is India’s first eight-lane freeway and was opened to the public for the first time in 2009.

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From 2009, the MEP Infrastructure had been collecting toll on the freeway but their tenure expired in January 2020. Since then, the Roadway Solutions India Infra Limited has been appointed in the role. The firm functions in association with the Fastgo Infra Private Limited.

The directors of Roadways Solution are Ameet Harjinder Gadhoke, Sunita Jamkhande Gangadhar, Seema Nitin Bajaj, Teja Ranade Gadhoke and Navjeet Harjinder Singh Gadhoke. The directors of Fastgo Infra are Jayraj Sanjay Khotkar and Tejas Kirtikumar Thakkar.

Roadways Solution has road construction experience whereas Fastgo Infra is just a year old. Sources said both the firms do not have toll management experience yet they were appointed.

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Sources said Fastgo Infra is owned by Shiv Sena leader Arjun Khotkar’s family. Khotkar hails from the Jalna district of Marathwada and is a former member of the legislative assembly. He is in support of chief minister Eknath Shinde.

Interestingly, sources said, it is the same firms that have also been appointed for toll collection work on the Samruddhi corridor.

First published on: 05-10-2022 at 06:01:46 pm
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