Now, Mumbai-Pune Expressway to have 100 CCTV cameras

Recent accidents force government to take steps to enhance safety on 95-km stretch.

The spate of accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway has now forced the state government to consider installing about 100 CCTV cameras along the 95-km stretch to keep an eye on speed demons.

Jaydatta Kshirsagar, Minister for Public Works (public undertakings), held a review meeting on security measures with senior PWD, MSRDC and traffic officials, in which a charter was drawn up to ensure safety on the iconic freeway.

To minimise accidents, the state is also contemplating reducing the number of U-turns on the expressway. At present, there are 24. "It was decided that the MSRDC should conduct a feasibility study to find out if we could install CCTV cameras across the 95-km stretch," MSRDC superintending engineer A V Deodhar said.

There have been rising cases of accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in the past few years. The death of two Marathi actors earlier this week revived the call for improving safety measures on the Expressway. In 2012, the stretch witnessed 475 accidents, in which 105 people died.

Among the new measures is setting up of two terminals on either end of the Expressway, where tired truck drivers can rest. Several accidents happened because truck drivers dozed off while driving. "The terminals should be able to accommodate 100 trucks each," Deodhar added.

MSRDC is also planing to expedite the work of adding two lanes Expressway. At present, the Expressway has six-lanes. Besides, the corporation will add two lanes to the old highway. The project is likely to cost Rs 5000 crore. "The MSRDC board has cleared the proposal. We are now going to put it before the Cabinet," Deodhar said.

At present, there are sections common to both NH-4 and Expressway, leading to traffic problems. MSRDC is hoping that with the construction of a tunnel, a dedicated lane would be created for the Expressway.

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