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Cyrus Mistry accident: Road audit raises concerns over safety hazards

A safety audit has raised concerns over poor maintenance, inadequate signages to guide drivers and over two dozen median openings along the stretch on the highway that witnessed the accidental death of Cyrus Mistry.Premium
A safety audit has raised concerns over poor maintenance, inadequate signages to guide drivers and over two dozen median openings along the stretch on the highway that witnessed the accidental death of Cyrus Mistry.

A safety audit on the highway, where Tata Sons' former chairman Cyrus Mistry died following an accident, has raised concerns over poor maintenance, inadequate signages to guide drivers and over two dozen median openings along the stretch

A safety audit of the stretch of road where the former chairman of Tata Sons, Cyrus Mistry, died inadvertently has brought up issues of poor maintenance, insufficient signage to direct drivers, and more than two dozen median openings. An international road federation team from India audited the 70-km stretch of NH-48 between Mandor, Maharashtra, and Achhad, Gujarat, for road safety.

Cyrus Mistry and another co-traveller had died after the car they were travelling in met with an accident on this stretch on 4 September this year.

KK Kapila, President Emeritus of the International Road Federation (IRF), stated that the audit by the team has recommended immediate, inexpensive countermeasures to prevent collisions.

These include installation of speed limit signs before diversions and bridges, display of warnings of reduced carriageway and against overtaking, quick maintenance, closure of median openings, and proper markings to guide the drivers, Kapila added.

The audit was carried out barely a week after the fatal crash at Palghar.

In a statement, IRF claimed that the audit was carried out with the National Highways Authority of India's permission (NHAI). The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and the NHAI have received the report for consideration.

The 70-kilometer stretch of NH-48 between Mandor, Maharashtra, and Achhad, Gujarat, has many major and minor structures, including flyovers, vehicular underpasses, pedestrian underpasses, bridges, and culverts, according to IRF-India chapter President Satish Parakh.

The statement mentioned Parakh saying, "It found that the site where the latest fatal crash happened, there is an unassuming diversion for the third lane, which has been created in an unscientific and non-standard manner without proper signs and markings."

The report said as per the standard design, there should be no median openings on any six-lane highway. The report has recommended closing of all the medians quickly.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports that over 1.55 lakh people died in road crashes in India in 2021, the highest death toll for any calendar year to date. This equates to an average of 426 deaths per day or 18 per hour.

The NCRB, which falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs, reported that while the number of fatalities brought on by collisions peaked last year, the number of traffic accidents and people hurt have decreased since the previous years.

(With inputs from PTI)

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