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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Eastern Freeway set to open with high risks

Absence of CCTV cameras may encourage overspeeding and cause accidents.

Written by Express News Service | Published: May 17, 2013 3:16:51 am

Eastern Freeway,which will cut the travel time between the eastern suburbs and south Mumbai to under 25 minutes,does not have the infrastructure to detect traffic violations. In the absence of such an infrastructure,there could be overspeeding and mishaps.

MMRDA will commission about 14 km of the 16.8-km freeway in the last week of this month. However,it has not installed a single CCTV camera on the signal- and toll-free stretch.

“As of now,we have not planned for CCTV cameras or measures to prevent accidents. We will think about that if there are untoward incidents once the freeway is opened and collaborate with traffic police,” said U P S Madan,metropolitan commissioner at MMRDA.

In the first phase,MMRDA will commission a 9.3-km,four-lane elevated road from Orange Gate on P D’Mello Road to Anik near Wadala. It will also open part — four lanes — of the eight-lane Anik-Panjarpol Link Road,which has a 500-metre tunnel. Some of the transportation experts MMRDA took to the freeway a few days ago observed the absence of surveillance cameras could create traffic issues.

“A lot of goods carriers will use the freeway due to its proximity to Mumbai Port Trust and Wadala Truck Terminus. There will be cases of drunk driving,overloading and so on. If there is a breakdown leading to a pile-up,without CCTVs and a control centre it will take long for the authorities to know it,” said Jitendra Gupta,a member of citizens transport committee.

“Opening the freeway without CCTV surveillance is a big risk not only from the point of view of traffic but also from the point of view of security as there are oil company establishments in the vicinity,” he said.

The elevated portion of the freeway overlooks over establishments of Hindustan Petroleum,Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil. However,MMRDA has put up three-metre barriers to block the view.

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