From frying pan into fire:Palm Beach road still as `deadly`

It may be recalled that in the April 2 issue, we had carried an article ‘Death strips’ put up on Palm Beach Road annoy motorists. These strips were later smoothened using a special chemical, but did it help matters? Certainly not. The road still remains as ‘deadly’ as earlier.
The Palm Beach road is a 10-kilometre-long six-lane road connecting Vashi to Belapur via Nerul and running parallel to Thane Creek. It is also the link road used by fast-moving vehicles coming from Mumbai towards JNPT, Uran, Pune, Goa, Bangalore etc. The smooth road surface with low density of vehicles tempts motorists coming from congested Mumbai to have a free run on this stretch.
During its pre-monsoon work, NMMC workers had developed rough strips on different patches with the help of a bulldozer. These patches had been named ‘death strips’ by motorists who used to lose control upon the sudden appearance of the patches on a smooth road and many a time even fell down.
Just a month ago these strips were filled with a special chemical which gave them a soft layer. They actually became more dangerous for speeding vehicles as their wheels fail to get the grip on them and hence motorists again lose control of their vehicles. On June 3, as first showers hit the city, wetness of the smooth patches proved dangerous for seven vehicles which collided while passing through this stretch. Fortunately there were no serious injuries.
The corporation has now initiated to put up white strips like those on zebra crossings to ensure that the motorists do not speed on this road.
Palm Beach road has always been in news for highest number of accidents in the city. In just three years, from 2007 to 2009, there have been 240 accidents here in which 40 lives were lost and around 250 were injured.
—Jaspal Singh Naol

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