At 1 pm on Saturday, a car flew off a flyover. A lady was killed and two others injured when a Volkswagen red colour car fell off the Biodiversity Flyover in the Cyberabad area of Hyderabad. According to the Traffic police, the car was speeding at 104 km/hour instead of the 40 km/hour speed that is allowed on this flyover, that was inaugurated only on 4 November. The car fell off the flyover and crashed on to an auto stand where people were waiting under a tree.
This is the second mishap that has taken place in the last 19 days. A few days after it was thrown open to the public, two persons were killed and four injured when a software employee allegedly in an inebriated condition hit bikes on the flyover.
The municipal authorities have closed the flyover for the next three days to carry out repairs and instal safety devices. But there are important questions they need to answer.
1. Minister KT Rama Rao’s tweet says the GHMC Engineer-in-chief will be asked to get speed control measures in place and an independent expert committee evaluation done. How was it that the flyover was inaugurated without “adequate” speed control measures put in place?
2. The footage from atop the flyover clearly shows it is a very sharp bend where unless you slow down considerably there is a great risk of overshooting. That is precisely what happened today. Isn’t it mandatory to either put sophisticated speed breakers so that even the rash drivers get their speed knocked down a bit.
Transportation engineers have pointed to defects in the design of the flyover, saying it compromises the safety of the commuters. It is a one-way flyover and given that it starts after a particularly congested stretch, there is a natural tendency to press the accelerator. The problem is that there is not sufficient buffer given by way of a transitional zone, at the curve.
3. The note from the police asks drivers to be careful. How can the traffic police rely only on the good sense of the Hyderabadi drivers. Will it get back the lady back to life? What if there was more traffic at that time of the day below and the accident had caused more casualties.
4. Commuters have complained of an extremely bumpy ride on this flyover, with the road quality much to be desired. Clearly the quality of workmanship leaves much to be desired.