There has been a drop of 54 per cent in the number of fatalities on the old Mumbai-Pune Highway since 2018, reveals data released by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), Maharashtra Highway Police, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India and SaveLIFE Foundation.
In 2018, when the old Mumbai-Pune Highway Vision Zero project was initiated, the Mumbai-Pune section of NH48 witnessed 268 fatalities, which further dropped to 206 in 2019. In 2020, the actual number of fatalities stood at 79 as per police records. However, to report the impact of the project, a conservative figure of 123 has been considered on the basis of fatalities in the first and fourth quarters of the year, when Covid-19 related challenges and restrictions were negligible. The figure of 123 also considers past available trends from second and third quarters of other years.
Joint managing director of MSRDC, Dr Chandrakant Pulkundwar said that last year they had spearheaded certain key initiatives on NH-48, which helped them in improving road safety, including the eradication of the black spot at Anda Point.
“We now have dedicated patrol vehicles to also ensure strong enforcement to remove or cordon off illegally parked vehicles on the old Mumbai-Pune highway,” said Pulkundwar, further adding that MSRDC played a crucial role in implementing various engineering safety measures on NH 48.
Additional Director General of Police (Traffic), Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay said, “The old highway sees more diverse traffic with a lot of vulnerable road users plying on it. We have therefore allocated additional personnel to strengthen the enforcement and improve safety on it.”
The project, conceptualised and managed by SaveLIFE Foundation, is supported by auto-major Skoda Auto Volkswagen India under its CSR programme.
Managing director, Skoda Auto Volkswagen Group in India, Gurpratap Boparai said, “We believe this model can work as a template for future road safety programs across the country.”
Founder and CEO of SaveLIFE Foundation, Piyush Tewari said that through this partnership they were able to successfully showcase the success of the model on National Highways.
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