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There were no potholes where couple’s bike skid, claims MSRDC

The Kasturba Marg police, which is investigating the case, and Mumbai Traffic Police also told The Indian Express that while the flyover has potholes, but there were none at the spot where the accident took place.

The Karnataka High Court, which is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on potholes, pulled up the BBMP engineer-in-chief a few months ago over the failure to fill up city potholes. (Representational image)

A day after a married couple died after the bike they were riding while navigating through potholes, skidded on a flyover on the Western Express Highway (WEH), resulting in the two being run over by a truck, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) on Thursday claimed that there were no potholes on the spot.

The Kasturba Marg police, which is investigating the case, and Mumbai Traffic Police also told The Indian Express that while the flyover has potholes, but there were none at the spot where the accident took place.

However, photographs of the accident, which have gone viral on social media, show the couple lying unconscious near a pothole with uneven road around them.

The incident took place at 1.26 pm, when Nazir Shah (43) and his wife Chaya Khilare (43) were on the northbound stretch of the WEH.

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On Wednesday, an officer from the Kasturba Marg police had said, “While on the flyover next to SGNP, Shah, while navigating through potholes, lost control over the bike… the bike skidded, making both fall on the road. At the same time, a speeding truck’s driver, coming from behind, could not apply the brakes in time and ran them over.”

However, on Thursday, an officer from the police station said, “The deceased were wearing helmets but the helmets were not tied properly. We suspect the driver may have lost control as his helmet may have blocked his vision. The exact spot where the accident occurred did not have a pothole. We clicked photos of the spot. But further probe is on to ascertain what caused the accident.”

Anil Kumar Gaikwad, Joint Managing Director of MSRDC — the flyover falls under the corporation’s jurisdiction — said: “Our team of engineers had visited the spot. However, they found no pothole at the accident site. There are some shallow potholes but not at the spot where the accident took place.”

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The MSRDC said private company MEP is responsible for maintaining roads and flyovers under the corporation as well as repairing potholes.

An official said that just ahead of monsoon, the MSRDC had sent a notice to MEP, instructing it to repair potholes on 27 flyovers along with the road. However, the company did not do so. “Since the company did not carry out the repairs, we have appointed another agency,” said another official.

When contacted, a traffic police officer said, “I did not see a pothole at the accident spot. But there are several potholes and uneven roads on this flyover…”

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Meanwhile, Khilare’s mother, along with MNS workers, staged a protest at Kasturba Marg police station demanding action against those responsible for filling potholes.

Shah’s brother Nizamuddin Shah said, “My brother has left behind a six-year-old son. He also has a 14-year-old daughter from his previous marriage. If something can be done for their future, it will be of great help to us.”

First published on: 19-08-2022 at 12:26:43 am
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