Mumbai Traffic Police on Tuesday morning stopped vehicular traffic on the newly constructed flyover at Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link. The decision was taken after complaints of multiple incidents of bikes skidding on the bridge during rains, questioning the quality of construction.
Several bike-skidding accidents have taken place on the northbound (towards Mankhurd Mandala) side since the flyover was opened and on Monday, one person died after his bike skidded on it.
“Today (Tuesday) morning there were multiple incidents of bikes slipping on the bridge due to rain so as a temporary precautionary measure the vehicular movement on the bridge has been stopped. The bridge will be open for vehicular movement after it stops raining,” said SG Agawane, senior inspector of Deonar police station.
“On Monday afternoon, a fatal accident took place on that stretch. The biker slipped on the bridge and the pillion rider fell off the bike and died. This is the first fatal accident reported at my police station but there have been several instances of bikes slipping on the bridge,” said Agawane.
Officials from traffic police said that they have written multiple letters to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking for precautionary measures like putting up traffic signboards, CCTV cameras, speedometer, rumble and so on.
The 2.9-km flyover, constructed at Rs 713 crore by the BMC, was thrown open to the public on August 1 three years after missing the deadline. The flyover has helped cut travel time for motorists heading towards Navi Mumbai from Ghatkopar as the link road has heavy traffic on the entire stretch, especially at Baiganwadi Junction in Shivaji Nagar.
The Mumbai police and traffic cops said every day when there were rains there have been instances of motorists slipping on the bridge. “These incidents are occurring on a 100 metre stretch on the northbound side of the bridge above Mankhurd T junction and Benganwadi junction. Due to rains, some oil type chemical is coming out of the road making it slippery,” said a Mumbai Police official.
However, officials from the bridges department refused the allegation that the construction quality of the surface of the flyover is poor and there is oil leakage. “The construction quality is not shoddy. The surface of the flyover is very smooth and in many cases, bikers or four-wheelers go at high speeds despite the speed limit of 50kmph. We have decided to increase the roughness of the surface of the flyover. Also, CCTV along with speedometers will be installed to keep a check on overspeeding by vehicles along with few other safety measures,” said Satish Thosar, chief engineer, bridges department. The work will be done during night time so that the traffic would not be disrupted, he added.
Activist Mushtaq Ansari said that there have been several accidents on the flyover due to poor quality of the surface. “A-34-year old man who was a resident of Shivaji Nagar died after his bike skidded on the flyover. He was hit in the head and declared dead at the local hospital. Another bike accident took place around 20 days ago where the biker was injured severely.”
A Mumbai traffic police official said, “the Mumbai police recently were part of a meeting with the BMC and discussed possible solutions to prevent future accidents. We have also suggested putting up speed breakers at a distance of 300 metres. They have put some rumblers but more is needed.”
“We have also requested to have a traffic or police chowky on the bridge where one or two cops can be stationed. There are also instances where local slum dwellers enter the bridge for strolling and even thieves come to steal small metal parts so some police presence could help,” added the police official.
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