Air Ambulances To Be Deployed on Samruddhi Mahamarg For Swift Medical Aid, 16 Helipads Planned


Amidst a spate of accidents on Samruddhi Mahamarg, the latest being on Friday (30 June) where 25 people lost their lives, the state government has decided to deploy air ambulances on the stretch to provide speedy medical assistance to injured.

The government is also planning to build 16 helipads on the expressway to facilitate the landing and take off of these air ambulances, an Indian Express report noted.

Quoting an official, the report said that the air ambulance will be deployed to evacuate the injured to hospitals which will prevent deaths due to delay in treatment. With this, the lives of those seriously injured can be saved.

The 701-km-long greenfield expressway is turning into a death trap with a life being lost every third day. A total of 846 accidents have been reported since December 2022 this year, resulting in 105 casualties over the eight-month period.

The most recent incident involved a private AC sleeper bus travelling from Nagpur to Pune, which caught fire after colliding with a steel pole and road divider, resulting in the tragic death of 25 people.

Samruddhi Mahamarg

Officially named ‘Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg’, the 701-km-long expressway connects Mumbai and Nagpur.

The first phase of the Samruddhi Mahamarg, connecting Nagpur to the temple town of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district covering a distance of 520 km, has been in operation since December 2022, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated it.

The second phase of Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg, an 80-km stretch between Shirdi and Bharvir village in Igatpuri taluka in Nashik district, was inaugurated on 27 May 2023 by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

With this, a total of 600 km out of the 701 km of the Samruddhi Expressway is now open to the public. The remaining 100-km stretch under Phase-III, between Igatpuri and Vadpe in Thane, will be completed in the next seven to eight months.

While the highway is a motorist’s delight, they are also experiencing highway hypnosis, as there are no hoardings or billboards on the roadsides or hotels/dhabas on the newly built highway that would distract a driver’s mind.

“Due to continuous driving on a monotonous stretch for long hours, the drivers kind of get hypnotised and sometimes lose control and reach a state when there is a temporary disconnect between the brain and body’s action. This results in the driver losing control of the vehicle and leads to accidents,” said Additional Director General of Police (Highway Traffic Maharashtra State) Ravindra Singhal.

Also Read: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 358 Accidents, 39 Deaths In Five Months And The Big Problem Of Highway Hypnosis