Mumbai: Two incidents of trucks ramming into the new height barricades have been reported a month after these gauges were erected to prevent heavy duty vehicles from crashing into the King’s Circle railway bridge. Even before the barricades came up, several such mishaps have occurred jeopardising the bridge strength.
To curb the recurring accidents, the railways and BMC jointly installed the height barricades at the entry and exit of the Sion flyover. However, the end to the problem is seemingly not yet in sight as a Punjab-based truck rammed into the barricade last week. Consequently, the barrier collapsed, resulting in major traffic chaos in the junction near the flyover – at the Matunga and Dadar end, also known as Nathalal Parekh road.
Similar incident occurred in 2022
In December 2022, just days after the completion of the barricade erection work, another Punjab-based heavy-duty truck approaching from the Tulpule bridge (north-bound) in Matunga rammed into the barricade that stood right outside the Sion Hospital. In both the cases, truckers said they had no knowledge about the height restrictions on the flyover or the bridge.
In last week's incident, the driver even missed the warning sign boards which didn't exist till last year. “The driver said that he was driving at a high speed because of which he could not notice the signboard,” said a traffic police officer, adding that cases like these have decreased to an extent but not stopped yet. Traffic authorities claimed that the vehicular congestion was cleared immediately after they were alerted about the incident, however, motorists alleged that there was a traffic block for more than 40-45 minutes.
"Shortage of manpower"
“We immediately informed the BMC and their engineers to reassemble the fallen barricade, and have provided them a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for construction work during the night hours between midnight and 6am,” said the official, adding that the NOC has been provided for almost a month.
When queried about deployment of traffic police personnel to avoid such incidents, he said, “Our officers are stationed across Matunga and Dadar. Both these areas are huge, with two main junctions, where we need to deploy at least two officers each to manage the traffic situation or else it will be a huge mess. With the manpower we have, if we deploy officers here (Sion flyover) for the whole time, the remaining spots will experience chaos.”
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