Tathawade subway finally reopens

Unusable Structure Led To Death Of 2 Girls Last Year
The pedestrian subway on Dehu Road-Katraj bypass at Tathawade has reopened after 18 months.On March 16, 2015, two girls, who studied in an adjacent biotechnology college, had lost their lives after they were run over by a speeding vehicle while they were crossing the road.

The revamped subway will benefit the students of three educational institutions that have campuses on both sides of the highway . It was found that the subway was not used by students because it was waterlogged.

While many students have started using the subway , some still risk their lives by crossing the road, which is a part of the Pune-Bangalore highway .

They do so despite being fully aware of the risk.

The subway , located a few metres from Indira College, had been waterlogged and unusable for over four years.Around 15,000 students of the three educational institutions located along the highway stretch cross the highway everyday .

Two days after the accident, director of Dr D Y Patil biotechnology and bioinformatics institute, M B Khetmalas, had shot a letter to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), highlighting the condition of the waterlogged subway .

He talked about the risks students face in crossing the highway in the absence of a viable alternative.

The director had suggested that necessary action should be taken to control the speed of vehicles by installing speed breakers, marking zebra crossings and in stalling sign boards. The NHAI, however, stated that zebra crossings are not advisable as most drivers do not recognize the crossings and never cut down on speed.Breakers too were ruled out because bumps are not allowed on highways.

Amit Mazhi, a student, said the subway is an excellent facility to cross the highway safely , particularly after knowing that two girls had lost their lives last year trying to cross the road.

“The subway has been re opened recently . However, during rains, it gets waterlogged and we are unable to use it. We students have to take the risk of jumping across the road. Thankfully , it is dry now. The NHAI has also arranged for adequate lighting,“ Mazhi said.

Deepika T, who still does not use the subway , claimed there aren’t enough vehicles on the road.

Ironically, Deepika was aware of the accident that happened last year. As a matter of fact, the highway has heavy traffic all through the day. Despite this, students and others sprint across the road in a hurry every day .A small gap in the median makes the task easy for them.

Taking cognizance of the problem, the NHAI started subway repairs about two months after the accident.Water was continuosly pumped out and water proofing was done.

NHAI officials said the subway is ready for use and was opened for use recently .However, it still gets water logged due to a quarry nearby, particularly during heavy rains.

Power supply utility MSEDCL also needs to shift the cables inside the structure. At present, students are using it because it is not waterlogged, officials said.

The authorities have not put up any display boards to indicate that the subway is open for use.

Authorities also need to close the gap in the median so that students use the subway instead of risking their lives.

Source : TOI