Samruddhi Expressway yet to be opened for public, car mishap on it claims one life

While the 701-kilometre Mumbai-Nagpur Samrudhi Expressway was not yet opened to vehicular traffic, a 45-year-old man died and three others were injured on Sunday when the vehicle they were traveling in had an accident along the road. Highway near Galna.

According to local residents, it was raining heavily at the time of the accident. They said many motorists use the highway as there is no security to guard the stretch.

The deceased was identified as Paleram Kukle (45), a resident of Boldana along with two others. Chandrakant Sable, 45, and Sunil Limpickar, 43, were traveling in a car.

Police said that the accident occurred at about five o’clock in the evening, Sunday, near the city of Galna, when the car in which the victims were traveling slipped and crashed into a hole dug in the middle of the highway to build a barrier. The impact of the collision was so strong that the car completely smashed and Khokl, who was sitting next to the driver, was seriously injured. The two other occupants of the car, Sable and Limpicare, were also seriously injured.

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The driver of the car, Yogesh Sangel, 24, was also slightly injured in the accident.

They were all taken to a nearby hospital where Khokl was declared dead while the passengers and driver were taken for treatment.

The victims are residents of Mahkar in Baladna. They were on their way back to their village from Aurangabad when the accident happened. While the accident was initially suspected to have occurred during heavy rain, it was later revealed that the car’s rear tire had exploded, resulting in an unfortunate accident. The deceased is said to be the owner of a hotel. “We will record the statements of the three wounded on Tuesday,” a police officer said.

Chandanzira police in Jalna said they had registered an accidental death in the matter.

The Samruddhi Expressway, which will cover a distance of 701 km between Mumbai and Nagpur, is the fastest highway in the country. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is carrying out the construction of the highway at an estimated cost of Rs 55,000 crore.

The first phase of the project, spanning 201 kilometers between Nagpur and Shilo Bazar in Washim, was scheduled to be rolled out to the public on May 2 this year. However, an overhead wildlife corridor 15 kilometers from Nagpur, which was under construction on the road to facilitate the movement of wildlife along its stretch, has caused cracks and damage. MSRDC has now decided to build an entirely new structure in its place, and this has delayed the project.

Started in January 2019, the entire project was expected to be completed by September 2022. However, it has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the slow pace of work on parts of the project. MSRDC is now planning to open the highway by June 2023 prudently.

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