Hyderabad-Shirdi highway most unsafe

Patrolling by highway police is an absolute requirement on the state highways, Road Transport Authority officials said, in light of the tragic accident on the Hyderabad-Shirdi route on Saturday when a bus turned turtle over a bridge, killing 30 passengers.

“Every state has its own plan for highway safety. Neighbouring Maharashtra has its own highway police. Hyderabad also should have its own highway police,” said RTA joint transport commissioner G. Panduranga Rao. “There should be police patrolling on the highways over every 60-km stretch, with an outpost after it,” Mr Rao said, explaining, “This will help control speeding vehicles, drunken driving, vehicle breakdowns and traffic blockages.”

Highways with four and six lanes are needed in a much bigger way, particularly the Hyderabad-Shirdi highway, where the accident took place. It is only two-lane, Mr Rao pointed out. He explained that this highway was the most dangerous among those identified so far, with many sharp curves and accident-prone areas. “It needs to be converted into a four- or six-lane road,” Mr Rao said, complaining, “The lack of safety of this road had been pointed out many times earlier, but no action has been taken so far on upgrading the laning.” Also, the RTA “has not been maintaining any records pertaining to the number of accidents, as these are recorded district-wise by the respective district superintendents of police,” Mr Rao said.

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