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IIT-Bombay's draft audit report on the scenic Palm Beach Road
May, 30th 2011

IIT-Bombay's draft road safety audit report on the scenic Palm Beach Road in Navi Mumbai has made many recommendations about improving the street equipment and corrective measures to make the 10-km six-lane highspeed road safer.

With 56 deaths and 160 serious injuries in the last four years (2007-2010 ), this highspeed corridor is a nightmare for the traffic police as the probability of death in a road accident is on the higher side with cases of vehicles crossing over to the other side by jumping the median. The accidents have led to vehicles getting smashed badly with victims trapped inside cars which have to be cut open in order to remove the victim.

The report said, "The road is, actually, designed for driving at 80 kmph, but for safety reasons, the speed has been pegged down to 60 km per hour. However, the vehicles zoom past at a speed of 100 to 120 km per hour. The internal roads connecting the townships to the road are the trouble spots and the high speed of the moving vehicles is a major cause for concern. The road stretch consist of many features like four-arm T-junctions , curves, water bodies along the road, culverts, flyovers etc' '

Described as the Marine Drive of Navi Mumbai, the road would be the link road after the new international airport gets operational and the increased vehicular traffic following the expansion of JNPT and the new townships coming up.

Killa junction, where the jumbo container trailers and large public transport vehicles cross, is a spot where the majority of accidents occur, the audit report has said.

Concerned about the spate of accidents, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC)'s Bhaskar Wankhede last year decided to review the safety of the Palm Beach Road and appointed IIT-Bombay to conduct a road safety audit.

A reconnaissance survey was done on December 14, 2010, main survey on March 12, 2011 and night-time audit in April 2011 by the transportation systems engineering department group of IITBombay . Both day and nighttime inspections were conducted at the site.

The traffic police after making a study of the recommendations of the draft report will discuss it with police commissioner Ahmad Javed and the NMMC commissioner and send across the inputs for a final report for the NMMC to take appropriate corrective measures.

DCP (traffic) Vijay Patil said there are "several good points'' pointed out by the report . Reflectors, edge-line markings, curve warnings, non-functional traffic signals, signage informing about culverts , T-junctions and sharp turns would help the motorists and two-wheeler riders to have an idea about the road and avoid accidents.

The report has also highlighted the need for street lights and crash barriers.

The DCP though said the audit report could highlight the need for speed breakers.

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