The Thane police on Wednesday issued a notice to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in connection with a pothole-related death last week, asking them to repair the road to prevent repeat accidents.

Bhiwandi accident

On July 10, a truck lost control while passing over a 1.5 feet deep pothole in the Kongaon area in Bhiwandi, and careened into an autorickshaw, causing the death of its passenger — 45-year-old Hasim Sheikh. The incident sparked the fury of the local residents, who took to the roads to protest, and were dispersed by the police only after hours of pacifying and assurances.

“The accident had led to a law and order situation in the area, and in order to avoid similar incidents in the future, we have issued a notice to the MSRDC under Section 149 of the Criminal Procedure Code, asking them to get the road repaired,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Manoj Patil, Zone II, Thane police said.

Mr. Patil said that the road was made by a contractor hired by the MSRDC, and the notice instructs the civic body to ensure that the contractor repairs and maintains the road.

The notice further warns of criminal action in case another pothole-related accident occurs, officers said.

‘Not culpable homicide’

Mr. Patil denied reports of the notice warning the MSRDC of an FIR of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and said that the notice was only issued as a precautionary meaure in order to ensure no more lives were lost.“Nobody specific has been named in the notice. The intent is just to get the road repaired as it is a 1.5 feet deep pit,” Mr. Patil said.

The issue of potholes has been in the limelight, having caused six deaths in Thane and Navi Mumbai since January. Five of the six fatal accidents occured in the Kalyan-Bhiwandi belt, while the sixth occured in Turbhe in Navi Mumbai.

On Tuesday, eight Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party workers were arrested for allegedly digging up the pavement outside Mantralaya as a protest against the issue. They were charged with unlawful assembly and damage to public property under the IPC.

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