Days after the death of Shiv Sangram founder and former legislator Vinayak Mete on the Mumbai Pune expressway, the Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday announced that the government has proposed to track the movement of heavy vehicles and containers along with other vehicles with the installation of integrated traffic management system (ITMS) and artificial intelligence (AI) on the busy Mumbai Pune expressway. This will help bring in discipline in the movement of these vehicles and curb accidents.
Fadnavis in his reply to a calling attention motion in the state assembly also announced that the government will soon appoint a committee headed by the additional director general of police to probe the administrative negligence, if any, in the death of Mete. This will be in addition to the inquiry being conducted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to investigate the criminal negligence. Fadnavis also admitted that the police have found discrepancies in the statement given by Mete’s driver about the Incident saying they are also being probed.
Further, Fadnavis said that CID will also look into the foul play angle in Mete’s death. He told the assembly that doctors had told that Mete was died on the spot after the accident took place. However, he added that the probe will reveal the necessary facts in this regard.
To a question raised by leader of opposition Ajit Pawar on expansion of the Mumbai Pune expressway with the construction of additional lanes and early completion of missing lane to reduce traffic congestion, Fadnavis said he will speak to the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and take the decision after exploring the procedural and financial viabilities.
Wrong Judgement of Driver
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said it was an "utterly wrong judgement" of the vehicle's driver. The 52-year-old Shiv Sangram Party leader was killed when his car headed towards Mumbai hit a truck from behind on the expressway near Madap tunnel in Raigad district on August 14.
Fadnavis was responding to a calling attention notice in the state Assembly by Congress legislator Varsha Gaikwad on Mete's death in the accident.
"The driver changed lanes and tried to overtake a heavy commercial vehicle in the middle lane from the left side. There was already another heavy vehicle in the left lane and there was no space for overtaking it. It was an utterly wrong judgement of the driver,” Fadnavis said.
“Thus, the accident impact was on Mete's side who was sitting behind in the car. The driver's side of the vehicle was not affected or damaged,” the state home minister said.