6th Dec, 2017
THANE: After a spate of accidents involving heavy vehicles carrying hazardous chemicals on the highways in recent times, residents and activists have claimed for better safety measures to be adopted by authorities. This will help in avoiding major mishaps from taking place in the future.
Activists point out to the potential danger involved to residents living along either sides of the arterial road. Heavy vehicles carrying hazardous chemicals have met with mishaps, causing a spill of the acid. The fumes of this spreads in the area which can lead to a lot of health problems.
Activists have demanded that the authorities, especially the road transport department, speed up identifying black spots in the district and implement corrective measures at the earliest; else they must construct an alternate road bypassing the dense residential corridor.
Recently, a gas leak from a loaded tanker had sparked panic among residents a couple of months ago. Another mishap took place in which a chemical leak was reported after a tanker carrying in met with a mishap near Saket last month.
Experts claimed that any major incident could easily pose as a danger to thousands of residents who live along the area.
Ghodbunder Road witnessed a massive traffic jam in October after a heavy tanker carrying concentrated hydrochloric acid toppled on the Mumbai-bound lane of the busy highway near Gaimukh in Thane at around 1am. The incident took place when the driver of the tanker was on his way from Gujarat to Navi Mumbai. He lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a turn at Gaimukh. The tanker skid and turned on one side. The contents of the truck spilled on the road and soon the acid content converted into fumes that enveloped the area, bringing the traffic to a complete halt.
"There have been serious mishaps which have, so far, not caused major fatalities. However, had the acid leak taken place along the residential areas of GB Road, it could have led to a major panic among residents. The authorities must immediately enforce safety norms on heavy vehicles. They must construct an alternate route bypassing the city limits," said Mahesh Gupta, a GB Road resident.
Meanwhile, officials from the Thane transport department said that they have identified a few problem areas and have suggested safety measures that will be introduced at these danger zones, also called as black spots. The department will submit this report, along with their suggestions, to the Centre for an approval to implement the safety measures.
"We have observed the dividers along the Nashik-Mumbai Highway have been removed by dhabas or petrol pumps so that it would be easy for vehicles to access them. The Ghodbunder Highway does not have rumblers that are required to slow down traffic," said an official.
"We have identified 67 accident-prone zones as per the guidelines set by the Supreme Court. We have verified and surveyed the spots and finalized the corrective action to be taken," he added.
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com