Close ducts on highway bridges, says NHAI report

November 20, 2013

Committee recommends complete closure of all gaps following ad executives’ fatal accident

 Pune Mirror Bureau

The car in which the four ad executives
were travelling fell through a 15-ft gap between two bridges

A consultants’ committee of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have recommended that all ducts of bridges on the Pune-Bangalore Highway should be completely closed. The report comes after the recent, tragic accident in which four advertising professionals lost their lives.

In their safety audit report, submitted to the NHAI on Monday, the committee recommended that all similar ducts should be closed and barricaded to avoid mishaps.

The car carrying Pranav Lele, Sahil Qureshi, Shrutika Chandwani and Chintan Buch fell into the river Neera at Sarola, around 50 km from the city, on the Pune-Bangalore highway.

The car fell through a 15-foot gap between two bridges after hitting a road divider, and sank into the river. The accident raised several questions over security and the lack of concrete walls or crash barriers at the end of the bridge in Bhor taluka which separates Pune district from Satara.

Earlier, there was only a two-lane bridge over the highway; a second adjoining bridge was constructed a few years ago.

NHAI officials intend to share the report with the highway police for further discussions on the subject and will seek their feedback. A meeting of senior NHAI officials, the highway police and other stakeholders will also be held to chalk out a safety roadmap.

“The consultants have recommended that the duct near Neera Bridge where the accident occurred, should be closed. The report also suggests that all such ducts on the highway should be barricaded, to avoid such incidents.

All these recommendations will be sent to the NHAI’s headquarters in Delhi for final approval. Once this is done, and the required funds have been procured, the work will start,” said a senior NHAI official on condition of anonymity.


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