The conditions of the entry-exit points for the fast lane on the 13km Nigdi-Dapodi eight lane road in PCMC has gone from bad to worse and can lead to serious accidents unless the civic administration wakes up and finds an immediate remedy. Most of the dividers at the points are damaged and iron rods are dangerously protruding from them. These junctions have no signages to tell vehicle drivers whether they are entry or exit points.
Over the years, these merge-in and merge-out points, used for shifting between service and fast-lane on the Nigdi-Dapodi stretch, have been repaired and redesigned many times but apparently the PCMC engineers have failed to find a technically-correct solution.
There are a total of 22 entry-exit points on the 13km-stretch and many of them are in deplorable condition. Confused or unscrupulous vehicle drivers are seen using these points for both the purpose of exiting or entering the fast lane. A PCMC resident, Umesh Dharkar, who regularly uses the fast lane, said, “This eight-lane grade separator road was one of the first dream projects in the PCMC area, but due to neglect and inferior maintenance work it is turning out to be a dangerous stretch.”
He complained that there is no policing on the fast lane, so people over speed and drive rashly. Executive engineer, BRT department, PCMC, Gyandev Jundhare said that they will very soon have a new technically-correct design for these entry-exit points. “We have already started a Rs1-crore maintenance project for the 13km stretch, as per the road safety audit created by IIT Bombay six months back for PCMC. Correcting design flaws and reconstructing these entry-exit points is part of the ongoing maintenance and beautification project, which will be completed in the next six months.” Another frequent user of the Nigdi-Dapodi route, Vijay Khilare said, “The biggest problem on the fast lane is absence of traffic police. Who is going to check if these entry-exit points are used for what they are meant for. Vehicles breaking the rules are the one’s that damage the dividers at these points.”