The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday assured the Bombay high court that the work of repairing the Mumbai-Nashik expressway by filling up the potholes and doing the patchwork was in full progress and would be completed before October 25.
The assurance by the Centre was made in response to HC’s query on the time required by the highway authority to improve the around 100-km stretch, which had become unfit for travelling, resulting in serpentine lines of vehicles having to move at a snail’s pace.
The division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni, after taking cognisance of news reports on September 24 regarding potholes on the Mumbai-Nashik highway – a part of the old Mumbai-Agra Highway – had asked the state and Centre to work in coordination to prevent loss of lives of commuters due to the poor condition of roads.
According to HT’s September 23 report, “Commuters had to endure a nightmarish commute on both Tuesday and Wednesday as 15km-long serpentine queues of vehicles were witnessed on the Mumbai-Nashik Highway. The traffic snarls spilled over to Ghodbunder Road, Waghbil, Kalwa, Majiwada and other areas in Thane city.”
During the hearing on Monday, additional solicitor general (ASG) Anil Singh representing NHAI, informed HC that the repair work on the 24-km stretch between Thane and Vadape was in progress and three teams had been assigned to work on the stretch. He submitted that work on the same was expected to completed by Tuesday, unless there is heavy rainfall in the area.
ASG Singh added that patchwork and pothole-filling work on the remaining stretch of the expressway between Vadape-Nashik, which was approximately 97km, was expected to be completed in around three weeks as seven teams had been assigned to do work there. He added that a stretch of around 5km was severely damaged, but work was expected to be completed by the next hearing provided the work was not interrupted by heavy rains.
The court accepted the assurances and asked the Central and state authorities to give a status report on the patchwork by October 25 and adjourned the hearing.
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