CM Shinde orders probe into Samruddhi Expressway accident, announces Rs 5 lakh assistance for kin of each deceased

02:15 PM Oct 15, 2023 | PTI |

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday ordered a probe into a road accident on the Samruddhi Expressway which claimed 12 lives.


The kin of each of the deceased will get a compensation of Rs five lakh from the state government, Shinde said.

A speeding mini-bus hit a container truck in Vaijapur area on the Samruddhi Expressway in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district in the early hours of Sunday, killing at least 12 people and injuring 23 others, as per police.

President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a post on X said an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) would be given to the next of kin of each deceased and the injured persons would be given Rs 50,000.


Chief Minister Shinde termed the incident as unfortunate and in a post on X said he has given directives to find out reasons behind the fatal accident near Vaijapur. Orders have also been given to take strict action against those found responsible for it, he said.

The state government will bear the expenses of treatment of the injured persons, the CM added.

State Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a message on X said the injured persons were admitted to Ghati civil hospital in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar city, while some of the injured persons were being treated at the Vaijapur hospital.

The Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar has commenced an inquiry into the accident, an official said. Leader of Opposition in the state legislative council Ambadas Danve claimed the mini-bus collided with the truck after an RTO team stopped the truck.

Vehicles should be checked by the RTO after they cross the interchange toll and before entering the expressway, the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader said. A team of the RTO stopped the running truck on the expressway, therefore the minibus collided with the truck, Danve said in a post on X, while terming the accident as ”manmade”.

”The Samruddhi Expressway has become a business road. Police and RTO should stop vehicles on this expressway for a valid reason, which is not happening here. They should have checked the mini-bus which was overloaded,” he told reporters.

”Vehicles should not be stopped on the expressway, otherwise what is the purpose of this expressway. Stopping vehicles in such a way is like inviting death on this expressway. Action should be taken against RTO officials who purposely stop vehicles on this expressway,” Danve said.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut claimed commuters’ safety was overlooked on the Samruddhi Expressway.

”Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis only want to claim credit, they should also take the responsibility of deaths due to accidents on the expressway,” he said. ”Why shouldn’t the government be booked for culpable homicide?” the Rajya Sabha member asked and demanded that the minister concerned be sacked.

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole termed the accident as unfortunate.

He said frequent accidents on the Samruddhi Expressway was a cause of concern. Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’s acting Regional Transport Officer Vijay Kothale told PTI that he has come to know of Danve’s claim.

”An inquiry is being conducted in this case and statements are being recorded. A dedicated vehicle has been provided by the MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation) to the RTO for patrolling purpose. Our two officials were in the patrolling vehicle at the accident spot,” he said.

District guardian minister Sandipan Bhumre told reporters that he has met the injured people. ”An inquiry will be conducted in this case and action will be taken against those who were at fault,” he said. The Samruddhi Mahamarg, named Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, is a 701-km-long expressway connecting Mumbai and Nagpur.

It traverses 10 districts including Nagpur, Washim, Wardha, Ahmednagar, Buldhana, Aurangabad, Amravati, Jalna, Nashik and Thane.

The construction of the Samruddhi Mahamarg is being carried out by the MSRDC.

The first phase, connecting Nagpur to the temple town of Shirdi, was inaugurated by PM Modi in December 2022. It covers a distance of 520 km.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Fadnavis inaugurated the 80-km-long second phase of the Samruddhi Mahamarg stretch from Bharvir village in Igatpuri taluka to Shirdi on May 26 this year.

A number of accidents have been reported on the expressway since it became operational.


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