With accidents increasing every other day on the 94-km-long Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the state government has decided to detain traffic offenders for counselling.
With accidents increasing every other day on the 94-km-long Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the state government has decided to detain traffic offenders for counselling. Traffic violators will be fined heavily and will be counselled for around four hours after detention.
The counselling session will involve educating the offenders on how rash driving and not following lane discipline could harm them and others travelling on the Expressway. The drivers will be informed about the accident and their mistake that caused the mishap.
“Our only concern is to make the Expressway a zero-fatality corridor. We have realised that mere fines on offenders will not work and so, they will be detained for around four hours,” said Eknath Shinde, minister, public works department, on the sidelines of his inspection of the Expressway on Saturday.
The state highway police officials will be given surplus incentives for booking maximum violators in a particular day. Further, the state is also studying the Yamuna Expressway model for which Mr Shinde will visit Yamuna Expressway. “One of the officials from the state highway police recently visited Yamuna Expressway to study its concept of traffic violation management. I have decided to go there and understand this concept in depth,” said Mr Shinde.
Suvez Haque, superintendent of police, Raigad-Alibag, under which the Panvel to Khalapur stretch of the Expressway falls, said, “We have proposed to the state government that there should be cameras installed on each lane on the lines of Yamuna Expressway and the cameras should be able to identify the registration number of the vehicle so that they can be nabbed by the highway police officials from the nearest toll booth where they will be detained and fined heavily.”
The state transport ministry is also scheduled to increase the fine amount which is Rs 100 currently.
“We are in the process of drafting the fine amount and the same will be proposed in the Assembly soon. However, we will ensure that the fine amount will be heavy,” said a transport ministry official.
The Expressway has been in the news after a private bus rammed into two cars on June 5, killing 17 and injuring 43 others, while last week six youngsters lost their lives after the car they were travelling in met with an accident.
The state highway police has also requested the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to acquire vacant land parcels near Khalapur toll booth and other toll booths on the Expressway where vehicles that are detained could be parked. A detention centre will also be constructed for counselling the violators.
The state has decided to deploy 120 jawans of the Maharashtra Ex-Servicemen Corporation Limited (Mesco) to improve vigilance and ensure traffic regulations are followed on the Expressway and use drones for patrolling on the Expressway; however, MSRDC officials are still undecided if using drones will be practical or not.
Meanwhile, on Saturday during the inspection of the Expressway, Mr Shinde came down heavily on officials of the IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited who look after the operation and maintenance of the Expressway.
Mr Shinde informed IRB officials that he had observed many shortfalls and that there had been a question mark on safety. He directed the contractors to address the shortfalls as indicated by the MSRDC officials.