Lonavala: Leading News Service: There is a failure to handle the traffic congestion situation that occurs in the event of a major accident on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. The limitations of the IRB company and the Road Development Corporation, which maintain and repair this road and collect tolls of lakhs of rupees daily under that name, have become clear. The tanker fire on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway on Tuesday and the failure of the system to handle the situation is a telling example of this. There is a lack of facilities on the highway and after a major accident, the system is becoming inadequate.
A tanker carrying the chemical methanol met with an accident and caught fire around 11.30 am on Tuesday. The fire was so fierce that only one or two fire engines could not contain the fire. As many as 8 to 9 fire tenders reached the spot to extinguish the fire. They included IRB, Lonavla Nagar Parishad, Khopoli Nagar Parishad, Talegaon Nagar Parishad, INS Shivaji, Tata Steel Khopoli, MIDC, PMRDA.
However, it took five hours to extinguish the fire. Moreover, the crane that went to lift the tanker also fell prey to this fire. While all the above incidents were taking place, this incident caused a huge traffic jam on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. There were queues of vehicles for several kilometers on the highway. For more than five hours these vehicles had not moved an inch; Due to this, thousands of citizens stuck in this traffic jam suffered a lot. To add to that, three to four times of rain also appeared during this time. There was no provision of drinking water for the citizens, small children, senior citizens, toilets for the women section, food and drink facilities on the expressway. A huge toll is collected while traveling on this route, but many passengers were seen expressing their displeasure over the lack of facilities provided in return.
Toll to be collected
The distance between Kalamboli and Kiwale on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway is 94.5 km. As per the recently announced new toll rates for this distance, the toll is Rs 320 for small vehicles, Rs 495 for mini buses and tempos, Rs 940 for buses, Rs 685 for two axle trucks, Rs 1630 for three axle trucks and Rs 2165 for machinery vehicles.
Shortage of help centers and facilities
In the total distance of 94.5 km of the Pune-Mumbai highway towards Mumbai, there is no toilet or washroom facility except Urse toll booth, Ozarde and Taje mall, then Khalapur toll booth and the mall there. Also, there is no facility for drinking water or food except above mall. The situation is worse than Kimbhu on the Pune side and after leaving the Khalapur toll booth and the mall there, this facility is available directly at the Urse toll booth and the mall there. Apart from this, no facility is available on the highway anywhere in between. Not only this, there is no help center of any kind on the entire highway.
There is a need for toilets, washrooms as well as drinking water and refreshment stations at certain kilometers along the Pune-Mumbai highway. Apart from that, if you get stuck on this highway, you need intersection roads and alternative roads at a certain distance to get out. In case of a major accident, it is necessary to set up a system to remove the accident vehicle in the least possible time. The highway here should be cleared as soon as possible. For that, it is necessary to build a competent system on the highway.
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