What you are seeing is not something downloaded from the popular TV show World’s Most Amazing Videos. These are grabs taken from spy cameras installed by the tony residents of Mumbai’s Juhu Vile Parle Development Scheme to boost security in the high-profile residential area. Like what the Traffic Police use to deter habitual offenders among motorists from breaking signals and committing other petty violations. Only what these CCTV cameras have captured are horrific accidents that reportedly sent the likes of Hema Malini and Hrithik Roshan from among JVPD’s Bollywood gentry running to the Police Commissioner of Mumbai and Chief Minister of Maharashtra in distress.
The spot in the video where the accidents occur with eerie regularity is the intersection of Roads No. 11 and 12 in JVPD. It is otherwise a quiet and leafy vicinity in which several of our Bollywood stars reside. There is no signal here because this is not a major intersection. And the residents, our filmi sitaron among them, are brought rushing to their windows and verandahs in heart-stopping panic each time they hear the horrible screech of brakes and the deafening crash of metal as accidents occur here that sometimes leave motorists, two-wheeler riders and even pedestrians critically injured. The more supernaturally inclined among them believed that the spot is haunted by the vengeful ghost of an accident victim. And they are considering performing a havan here.
What has caused outrage after a number of such ghastly incidents is the total apathy of authority despite this being a so-called VIP area. Somebody keeping count said that over 23 accidents occurred here in less than a month. Sometimes there are as many as seven or eight a day. And of the people left injured in them, two were in coma and at death’s door. A chagrined Traffic Police has reported that some JVPD residents whose names they would not like to mention have written strong letters of complaint to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. They have said that if concrete steps were not undertaken to address this deadly nuisance, they might be forced to shift home and hearth to somewhere else in Mumbai. All that these anguished JVPD-ites are asking for is speed breakers and traffic signals at this intersection. Which appears to be a big deal going by authority’s deaf ear to their urgent appeal.