MUMBAI:A 34-year-old biker was killed on Sunday after she hit a pothole on the national highway near Mumbai and was crushed by a truck. Jagruti Viraj Hogale, the mother of an eight-year-old boy, was a member of the women-only bikers’ club, “The Bikerni”.
A resident of Mumbai’s Bandra, Ms Hogale was on her way to a weekend getaway to Jawhar with friends on Sunday morning when the accident took place, say the police.
Around 9 am at Palghar district around 70 km from Mumbai, Ms Hogale tried to overtake a truck. It was raining heavily and she apparently could not see a deep pothole in time. As she swerved to avoid it, she was thrown off her bike. The police say she was crushed under the rear wheel of the truck she had overtaken.
Her friends were just behind her on their bikes. By the time they caught up, she was dead, the police say.
The tragedy coincides with public anger over potholes in Mumbai’s roads. The recurring problem is being debated intensely after celebrity radio jockey Malishka’s parody video on bad roads appeared to have earned her a notice for mosquito-breeding and verbal attacks from indignant corporators of the Shiv Sena, which has controlled Mumbai’s civic body BMC for decades.
Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray, asked today about the pothole-related accident near Mumbai, said: “We are working on it, there will be action on potholes.”
A witness from the village next to the accident spot said there had been numerous complaints to civic bodies about the poor state of the road, but no one had bothered.
“We saw three bikers overtaking a truck. One of the bikers after hitting a pothole lost her balance and the truck ran over her. We have complained about the road condition to the PWD (Public Works Department) and village head in the past but there is no answer. After the incident, we have filled up the pothole because administration failed to react,” he said.
In a promotional video for her club, which has members from across India, Ms Hogale had talked about breaking stereotypes. “I feel independent when I am riding… I feel like I am flying…,” she said.