54% of Fatal Accidents Occur between Midnight and 9am on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway: 2018 Report
As per the analysis of 110 accidents that occurred during 2018, it is found that the accidents occurring between midnight and 9am constitute 56% of all accidents while 54% of the total accidents are fatal, reveals a study.
 
Together, three categories, namely, collision with another vehicle moving ahead or waiting or stationary (rear-end collisions), leaving the carriageway to the left or right and pedestrian accidents together constitute 90% of all accidents while 94% of the total accidents are fatal. 
 
These are the findings from an annual study conducted by Mumbai-based JP Research India Pvt Ltd, with the approval of the Maharashtra State Highway Police and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for 2018. The study observes that 58% of total pedestrian accidents took place while the vehicle was parked or was broken-down or being pushed to the roadside. 
 
 
 
These 110 accidents investigated by JPRI accident research team on the expressway from 1 January to 31 December 2018, involved 218 road users (193 vehicles and 25 pedestrians) and 443 victims (418 vehicle occupants and 25 pedestrians). Of the 443 victims, 65 were fatal, 105 were seriously injured and 129 suffered minor injuries.
 
 
As against the common impression that it is mostly human error which causes accidents, JPRI employs a Haddon Matrix approach to identify the contributing factors that comprise the human, vehicle, as well as infrastructure issues, influencing the occurrence of each accident and the resulting injuries. 
 
 
Ravishankar Rajaraman, technical director of JP Research says, “The Haddon Matrix was developed by Dr William Haddon in the 1970s and looks at factors related to personal attributes, vector or agent attributes and environmental attributes; before, during and after an accident. By utilising this framework (the Haddon Matrix), one can think about evaluating the relative importance of different factors and design interventions.”
 
 
Main reasons why these 110 accidents occurred were
  • Collision with another vehicle which starts, stops or is stationary;
  • Collision with another vehicle moving ahead or waiting;
  • Collision with another vehicle moving laterally in the same direction;
  • Collision with another oncoming vehicle;
  • Collision with another vehicle which turns into or crosses a road;
  • Collision between vehicle and pedestrian;
  • Collision with an obstacle in the carriageway;
  • Leaving the carriageway to the right;
  • Leaving the carriageway to the left;
  • Accident of another kind (such as truck jack-knifing, fires, and rollovers on the carriageway)

 

 
Case Study of Two Accidents:
 
Case No 1: A van with 9 occupants was travelling towards Mumbai in the left most lane of the Mumbai Pune Express Way (MPEW). The van left the carriageway to the left due to driver fatigue. There was a slope on the left side and no crash barriers were present. On realisation of vehicle entering the slope, driver of the van tried to steer right to avoid the slope. However, the driver could not control the vehicle and impacted a roadside tree on its front plane and deflected counter clockwise. It then impacted another tree partially on its left and its top plane. After the impact with the second tree, it rolled over on its right plane. The van completed one quarter turn and came to rest partially on the unpaved shoulder and partially off-road. It was on its right plane at its final rest position. Two occupants of the van died on the spot and one succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
 
Another occupant was seriously injured while four others sustained minor injuries. One occupant was not injured. 
 
Case 2: A car with one occupant was travelling towards Pune on the MPEW. The driver of this vehicle fell asleep causing the vehicle to leave the carriageway to the right. The vehicle impacted the guardrail on the paved shoulder. It travelled for some distance deflecting the guard rail posts in the process and finally came to rest partially on the paved shoulder and the rightmost lane. The driver of this vehicle sustained minor injuries.
 
Both accidents involved the same pre-crash factor (driver fatigue) causing the vehicle to leave the carriageway. However the injury outcomes were different.
 
In the second accident, the occupant (driver) was able to walk away with minor injuries, while in the first case there were deaths and serious injuries. The event that primarily led to the accidents was the same in both cases: leaving the roadway. 
 
In the second case however, the vehicle was prevented from leaving the carriageway by the metal guardrail. In the first case, the vehicle left the roadway and hit trees on the roadside, following which it rolled over. In this case, had there been an effective crash barrier to prevent the impacting vehicle from leaving the road, the injury outcome would have been less severe.
 
 
Mr Rajaraman says, “This case study helps us understand the contributing factor analysis using the Haddon Matrix approach, and the effectiveness of guardrails and their influence on reducing injury outcomes as a result of the other contributing factors in a crash.”
 
 
So, what can be done to minimise the number of accidents and fatalities? 
 
The study points out, “Enforcement of seatbelt and speeding rules have great scope for reducing accidents and fatalities on the expressway. With respect to road infrastructure, tactile edge lines are recommended to alert sleepy drivers before going off the road and advance signage on rest areas to keep commuters well-informed. A single emergency response number and proper publicity to encourage the use of the available emergency or breakdown services will help reduce accidents due to parked vehicles. For engineering improvements, the current rear underrun protection devices (RUPDs) and guardrails need to be scientifically evaluated to be made more effective in reducing fatalities and serious injuries.”
 
So far, JPRI has investigated over 750 accidents on the expressway, since 2012 and publishes annual reports. The report states that it highlights the priority areas and low hanging fruits for improving safety of commuters on the expressway. 
 
(This presentation was made at the recently held media workshop by Road Safety Network and Parisar, in Pune).
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.
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    Renowned engineers Shirish Patel, Dr VV Nori Question Unnecessary Demolition and Reconstruction of Juhu-Tara Bridge
    Renowned engineers Shirish Patel and Dr VV Nori, who are part of the Citizens’ Technical Advisory Committee (CTAC) set up by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have written a hard hitting letter exposing the apathy shown by BMC towards citizens and not a push to open up bridges or salvage and fortify existing ones despite expert advise. Despite a clear recommendation backed by a written guarantee by two members of the CTAC asking the corporation not to lay a 30cm thick reinforced concrete slab and instead remove existing layers from the Juhu-Tara bridge to relieve the dead load, the BMC has only followed half the advice and kept one part bridge closed. The BMC has also gone ahead and called for tenders to demolish and reconstruct the bridge, even when the committee has said it can be fortified and needn’t be demolished. This imposes a huge cost on the corporation while also harassing commuters, because there is not alternative route available.
     
    In an open letter addressed to SP Darade, chief engineer for bridges at BMC, both Mr Patel and Dr Nori have said, “Given the casualness of the audit report and of the load test (no report) the reasons for the rapid-fire decision to demolish and rebuild seem unproven and opaque. This is for only one bridge. Nine others call for similar reconsideration. We think the public you should aim to serve deserves a clearer explanation of your actions. At least your fellow civil engineering professionals should be first convinced that what you are doing is right. All the evidence so far points the other way.” 
     
    Here is the open letter written by Mr Patel and Dr Nori...
     
    26 August 2019
    Ref:PP:149
     
    Open Letter to:
    Shri S P Darade
    Chief Engineer (Bridges)
    MCGM, Mumbai
     
    Dear Shri Darade,
     
    Like you, we are civil engineers. You are a public servant. We are practicing professionals. You have a direct responsibility to protect the public interest. Our responsibility also extends eventually to the public. So whatever our clients may desire we follow professional Codes of Practice or Guidelines precisely to protect the public interest.
     
    With bridges the public interest is not only safety (which is paramount) but also keeping them open to traffic. 
     
    For brevity’s sake we will deal only with Juhu-Tara, one of 10 bridges that were completely closed to traffic. It was closed based on an audit report and a load test. The audit consultant did not follow (and was not required by you to follow) the Guidelines advised in Indian Roads Congress’s “Guidelines for Evaluation of Load Carrying Capacity of Bridges”. The load test also did not follow IRC’s “Guidelines for Load Testing of Bridges”. The professor that carried out the load test has not submitted (nor been required to submit) a formal report of the Load Test. But he did recommend that the overlay on the original structural slab be replaced by a new 30 cm thick reinforced concrete slab, after which the bridge could be opened to cars and BEST buses but not trucks.
     
    On 26 June 2019 the Municipal Commissioner set up the Citizens’ Technical Advisory Committee (CTAC) of which we are Members. After a first meeting with you on 28 June, CTAC inspected Juhu-Tara on 2 July. We found that the original bridge slab had about 40-50 cm of fill on top. Removal of this fill will relieve the slab of a dead load of about 1 ton per square metre. Cars and BEST buses weigh less than that. So the bridge needed no further work, other than stripping off overburden and then opening the bridge to cars and BEST buses (no trucks), first one half and then the other. There was absolutely no need to lay am extra slab. 
     
    That this will be completely safe is further confirmed in that during the Load Test a battery of 32-ton trucks moved up and down the bridge with no signs of bridge distress.
     
    You asked us to confirm in writing that we would take responsibility for the safety of the bridge if our recommendation was followed. Possibly you never expected it, but the two of us gave you the undertaking. 
     
    When you ask for such a written undertaking of responsibility, is it not implied that if we accept then you will follow our advice?
     
    To our amazement we found that instead of following our recommendation, after stripping the overburden, work was proceeding on laying a 30 cm slab over the northern half of the bridge. We protested, and asked to stop the casting. The slab was cast anyway, and later opened to cars and BEST buses, exactly as would have been possible weeks earlier without the new slab. For the other half we insisted there should be no slab, but the overburden should be removed and that half too opened to traffic. For whatever reason this has not been done. Only half the bridge remains open to traffic, the half that has the new slab on top. The other half is still closed. That shows a remarkable unconcern for the public. 
     
    You have invited tenders for demolition and reconstruction of the bridge. To our knowledge the foundations and piers are quite sound. The channel needs no widening or removal of piers because it has never overflowed. Other options for repair and retrofitting need to be considered. Given the casualness of the audit report and of the load test (no report) the reasons for the rapid-fire decision to demolish and rebuild seem unproven and opaque. 
     
    This is for only one bridge. Nine others call for similar reconsideration. We think the public you should aim to serve deserves a clearer explanation of your actions. At least your fellow civil engineering professionals should be first convinced that what you are doing is right. All the evidence so far points the other way.
     
    Yours sincerely,
     
    Shirish B Patel Dr V V Nori
     
    The authors are Chairman Emeritus and Chairman respectively of Shirish Patel & Associates, a civil engineering design firm.
     
     
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    Stamp Duty cannot be charged on resale of old properties, rules High Court
    Mumbaikar’s who have been on the look out to purchase old properties but have stayed away because of prohibitive stamp duty rates have some good news. In a landmark judgement, presiding Judge Gautam Patel of the Bombay  High Court has put an end to the age-old practice of collecting stamp duty retrospectively on resale of old properties. The court also ruled against imposing hefty penalty for past sale agreements that are now regarded as insufficiently stamped or not registered. 
     
    The ruling was passed by the court during a hearing of a petition involving the resale of a posh 3,300 sq. ft. apartment in Tahnee Heights Cooperative Housing Society at Napean Sea Road. The petitioner Lajwanti Godhwani had inherited this apartment from her father along with other legal heirs. The apartment was last sold in 1979, when the owners had paid a stamp duty of just Rs10. In those days, a sale agreement could be executed on a stamp paper of Rs5. Later down the line, in 1985 an amendment to the Maharashtra Stamp Act spelled out that stamp duty had to be paid at the ready reckoner rate declared every year by the government. Following this amendment, the government started imposing stamp duty retrospectively on resale old properties for which nominal duty had been paid decades ago. 
     
    In this particular case, the flat was recently auctioned for Rs38 crores and when the buyer Vijay Jindal approached the registration office for registration of the documents, the collector of stamps refused to register the new sale agreement pursuant to the auction. They instead demanded stamp duty on the chain of agreements, contending that it was not adequately stamped. On the basis of the present ready reckoner rates, the stamp duty alone was around Rs2 crores. Vijay Jindal had purchased the property through a court receiver auction and hence decided to approach the Bombay High Court to ask the sellers to bear the liability on past stamp duty. While Lajwanti Godhwani agreed to bear the cost, other co-owners of the flat had refused to do so.  
     
    Ruling on this case, Justice Gautam Patel held that stamp duty authorities had no right to collect the stamp duty, for inadequately stamped past documents of any property, at the time of registration of its subsequent sale. He observed that “Stamp (duty) is attracted by the instrument, not the underlying transaction, and not by any historical narrative in the instrument”. This implies that stamp duty should not be calculated retrospectively for a property that was sold at a time when the law was different. In his order, Justice Patel further clarified, “As regards the question of stamp duty on antecedent documents, there is no clear or well-considered response from that office”.
     
    The court order reads that “neither the officer present or Himanshu Takke, Assistant Government Pleader (AGP) is able to state under which provision of law old documents prior to the amendments to the Stamp Act could be legitimately or lawfully said to unstamped or even insufficiently stamped if, according to the law as it stood that historical point in time, the document itself was not liable to stamp in the first place.” The ruling also records Mr Takke’s agreement that any assessment on stamp duty due would have to be on the basis of the law as it stood at the time of older transactions and not at today’s ready reckoner rates.
     
    Hence, Justice Patel ruled that since there are no clear cut provisions in the law, about the recovery of stamp duty retrospectively, the stamp duty authorities have no authority to insist on payment on such past agreements.
     
    Advocate Ajay Panicker who represented one of the original owners of the apartment said, “This is a landmark judgement by Justice Gautam Patel, as lakhs of old flat agreements are neither sufficiently stamped nor registered, and when the owners resell the flat, the collector of stamps, charges at the current rate and also imposes a penalty. With this order, this practice will come to an end.”
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    COMMENTS

    Neeta Date

    3 months ago

    The judgement reffered above was passed on 13th December 2018, then how this can be news after 8 months?

    BombayProperty com

    3 months ago

    Kindly Ensure your headlines aren't misleading. It should say Past Payments of Stamp Duties not Applicable. Catchy headlines shouldn't be created to give the wrong impression

    Rakesh Modi

    3 months ago

    Very good judgement. A tight slap to Registration departments/Revenue departments. Stamp duty, Registration is just an extraction of money by the government under revenue, but they even register fraud documents also as in my case when inspite of 4 names of we brothers & sister in share certificate, they registered agreement with only my eldest brother's name & when I complained this to them even with the order of CM Devendra Fadnavis, they refused to alter or call the parties for rectification citing reason as "they don't check the authenticity of the docs (means with a blind eye they scan agreements & register & extract money". After the court's order they can intimate fraudsters to rectify it., What a law?? This happened in Mumbai in 2019!!! ---Rakesh Modi - 9819993972

    REPLY

    Ramesh Bajaj

    In Reply to Rakesh Modi 2 months ago

    I agree with you. When my house was sold the sub registrar saw the Xerox copy of Share Certificate and asked to see the original. In the case of the office the share certificate stands in 3 names, but the Xerox copy of the share certificate attached (by the other shareholders) in the lease deed for 90 years does not show my name. The sub registrar did not even verify by seeing the original, saying that it is not his duty.

    Ramesh Poapt

    3 months ago

    will it be applicable in all states?

    Harish

    3 months ago

    Another Great Judgment by Justice Gautam Patel.

    Nilesh

    3 months ago

    thous who have paid stamp duty in similar type transaction should apply for refund.

    Jigar Sompura

    3 months ago

    Do i still have to pay stamp duty of previous owner under Ammnsty ? Coz i have already filed documents. I have paid mine but previous owner hasn't

    Ashok Thakkar

    3 months ago

    thous who have paid stamp duty in similar type transaction should apply for refund.

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