Mumbai, 19th September 2022: The news of former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry’s death in a car accident in Maharashtra’s Palghar district this month shook the nation. Official figures show that road accidents are common on the 100-km stretch of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway between Ghodbunder in Thane and Dapchari in Palghar district, which has witnessed 262 accidents this year, in which 62 people died, and 192 were injured.
Many of these accidents were due to excessive speeding or miscalculations by the driver. Officials said that poor maintenance of roads, and lack of proper signs and measures to curb speed, among other factors, are also responsible for these accidents.
A Maharashtra Highway police official said, “Since the beginning of this year, 26 people have died in 25 serious accidents on the part of the highway near Charoti where Mistry’s car met with an accident on 4th September. Also, 25 people have died in 35 serious accidents during the same period in the area near Chinchoti, and 11 people have lost their lives in 10 accidents near Manor.” In the case of accidents, the stretch of about 500 meters towards Chiroti and Mumbai is very dangerous.
“While heading towards Mumbai, the road turns before the bridge over the Surya River, and the three-lane road turns into two, but there are no proper signs on the road to inform the drivers about this in advance,” the official said. Mistry (54) and his friend Jahangir Pandole were killed after their car rammed into the divider of the bridge over the Surya River in Palghar. Anahita Pandole (55) and her husband Darius (60) were seriously injured.
Another official said that it seems that the Indian Road Congress’ safety guidelines have been ignored by those who are responsible for the maintenance of the road. He said, “The road comes under the purview of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), but the maintenance responsibility lies with the private toll collecting agency.”
According to the official, “As per the guidelines, an ambulance should be kept ready at every 30 km with a crane; patrol vehicles should also be alert.” The Maharashtra Police has sought the opinion of experts on the safety measures that can be implemented in the wake of the Former Tata Chairman’s death in the accident. For this, the government has written a letter to the Central Road Research Institute asking for an audit related to road safety.