Concrete dividers at the beginning of the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road (GMLR) flyover appear to have become a cause for accidents. According to sources, there have been three incidents in the past five days where cars rammed into the dividers. Officials working on the ground said that the blocks must be modified or removed before they lead to a fatality. While authorities working on the ground are observing the trend, the accidents are not being officially reported.
Senior Police Inspector Rajesh Kevle of Deonar police told mid-day, “Many incidents at the start of the flyover where cars are colliding with the concrete blocks are not being reported as the drivers are at fault for speeding, and the incidents involve a single vehicle colliding with the divider, as opposed to two vehicles colliding with each other.”
A car that rammed into the concrete block on September 22
Kevle added, “There is a signal right at the start of the flyover. As soon as the signal turns green, motorists speed up quickly and end up not noticing the dividers, which leads to a collision. I, too, experienced a near-miss with the concrete blocks. I was driving a friend’s car and the car next to me sped as soon as the signal turned green. The car ended up pressing my car towards one of the blocks. I avoided an accident as I quickly applied breaks.”
The 2.9-km flyover is an essential link connecting Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune. After it opened, traffic congestion at key intersections, including the Shivaji Nagar junction, Bainganwadi and the Deonar dumpyard junction reduced.
The BMC introduced the height barriers to restrict the entry of heavy vehicles, and the concrete blocks to separate the lanes on the flyover. It also restricted the entry of two-wheelers. After mid-day’s September 10 report ‘No reflectors on flyover causing accidents’, sources said that reflectors were placed on the dividers. This, too, does not seem to have helped. The GMLR flyover does not have any warning signs either. According to sources, in one of the incidents, a car rammed into the divider on September 22.
Placing reflectors on the blocks does not seem to help prevent accidents either. Pic/Aishwarya Deodhar
Kevle added that the height of the approximately 3-foot-high concrete blocks should be increased so that they become more visible. A source from the traffic police had a different take. “The concrete blocks should be removed. There is a height barrier to stop heavy traffic. There is no need for the concrete blocks. If no swift action is taken, it may lead to fatal accidents.”
Asked about the issue, a spokesperson for the M East ward told mid-day, “We visited the site and fixed reflectors on the concrete dividers. We are also observing the site. Construction work is also on to build a pylon to raise High Tension (HT) electricity cables across the GMLR flyover. This work is being done through the MSETCL (Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company). The MSETCL has been asked to expedite the work. After MSETCL’s work on the pylon and raising of HT cables is completed, the height barrier and the concrete blocks will be removed.” The spokesperson refused to elaborate further on the need for the dividers for MSETCL’s work.