A 28-year-old female biker was crushed to death due to bad roads on the Mumbai Goa highway on Friday morning. The deceased Bhagyashree Shindewas was returning back to her residence in Ghansoli, Navi Mumbai when her bike skid due to sand and stone chips that had been used to cover potholes on the Mumbai Goa highway near Bandhan village. Bhagyashree was thrown off her bike and fell on the right side when a trailer coming from behind crushed her to death.
On July 23, another female biker Jagruti Hogale died after her bike skid after hitting a pothole on Javhar Dahanu road. She fell off and was crushed in a similar manner by a speeding trailer which came from behind.
This wasn’t the first accident that took place on the Mumbai-Goa highway where road expansion work has been going on now for more than a decade. Local residents who rushed to the spot had been complaining to the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India)and state government to get the roads repaired and expansion work completed but their complaints had fallen on deaf ears.
Another apathy from the government that added to the Friday morning tragedy was that the national ambulance helpline 108 didn’t provide any help for four hours. Finally Bhagyashree’s body was rushed to the government hospital with help of a private social organisation’s ambulance. Till then, Bhagyahsree’s body was lying in the middle of the road for around four hours.
According to local villagers from the Bandhanwadi village where the accident happened, the incident took place around 8 am.
“We rushed to the spot but saw that body was completely crushed under the trailer wheels and the woman had died on the spot. We kept calling 108 National ambulance service but the ambulance never arrived. Accidents on this particular stretch of Mumbai-Goa highway have become a regular feature and today the villagers lost their cool,” said Santosh Thakur from Bandhanwadi village.
He added, “The spot where the accident took place had huge potholes, the contractor hired by NHAI just filled them with stone chips and sand which came out all over the road during rains and now the roads have turned even more dangerous. One can either dodge potholes or sand, the woman fell prey to this and unfortunately her bike skid.”
Villagers claimed that NHAI has been carrying out the expansion work on Mumbai-Goa highway since 2007, by rule it should have been completed within two years but it hasn’t been till date. The problem is in land acquisition and state government isn’t helping NHAI for it. So, the state government is equally responsible for the state of the road which sees heavy traffic every hour.
VILLAGERS BLOCK TRAFFIC
Around 400 angry villagers blocked traffic on the road and sat near the body of Bhagyashree till the private ambulance arrived. The rasta roko was to make authorities like police, state government and NHAI accountable for such incidents. The rasta roko was finally called off when police officials and local authorities claimed they would investigate the role of all those responsible for the bad state of the road and assured action against them.
The Panvel taluka police station arrested the trailer driver for rash negligent driving. He has been identified as Ramnaresh Bind, 26 and will be produced in court on Saturday.
“The trailer driver has been arrested but the real culprits behind the accidents that take place everyday on this road are never questioned and that is why we staged a rasta roko. Police have assured that they will investigate role of contractors, NHAI, state government and take appropriate action and if that doesn’t happen, it will invite a bigger agitation from locals” said Thakur.