Bumpy ride on Sion-Panvel highway makes motorists fume
‘SHAME’ STORY Concessionaire claims that it has undertaken timely repair to fill potholes and pits
Motorists have had a harrowing time on the pothole-ridden Sion-Panvel highway since the monsoon set in.
Despite repeated claims by Sion Panvel Tollways Pvt Ltd (SPTPL) that is responsible to undertake timely repair of the perilous potholes, people said that the situation has worsened compared to last year. The incessant rain since last week has aggravated the plight of motorists.
The 10-lane highway was inaugurated with much fanfare at a cost of Rs1,200 crore two years ago.
It has now become a nightmare for motorists who often have to spend nearly two hours, which should normally take 35 minute, to cover even small distances on the 25-km stretch.
The reappearance of small pits and craters has punctured SPTPL’s, the concessionaire, claims on maintenance work.
This is the second year that the stretch poses danger to motorists, keeping in mind how potholes have contribute to road deaths in the country.
Over 1 lakh vehicles, that is around 10 lakh passengers, use the road every day.
“There are potholes galore right from Vashi gaon, at the Sanpada stretch, between Turbhe and Uran Phata. It is actually difficult to find the road with the increasing number of potholes and the situation does not improve till Panvel,” lamented Vijay Despande, a Kopar Khairane resident.
“A couple of days ago, I was stuck for almost an hour near Sanpada in heavy rains. It gets worse in the evening during peak hours. It is shocking that such a new road is in this condition. While the vehicle suffers, A line of vehicles in a traffic jam on Sion-Panvel Highway on Wednesday.
those with back problems could have serious complications,” he said.
The road also has flyovers at Sanpada, Nerul, Uran Phata, Kamothe and Kharghar.
“SPTL does not seem very interested in maintaining the road. Light vehicles have been exempted from paying toll near
Kharghar since 2015. The concessionaire had said that they will suffer losses,” said Kesar Singh, an NRI colony resident.
“The government has compensated them for it. The government had paid Rs3.75 crore to them every month last year as compensation. This year the amount has reportedly Huge potholes like this on the Sion-Panvel Highway have slowed down vehicles. been increased to Rs4.60 crore. Despite this there is no relief for commuters,” he said.
The Sion Panvel Tollways Pvt Ltd said it was making all efforts and is taking up the responsibility of maintaining and repairing the project road in the interests of the commuters.
“SPTPL remains fully committed towards ensuring safe travel for the motorists and pedestrian,” it said.
“We are filling up potholes and continuously monitoring the situation,” officials said.
“We have mobilised 3-4 teams on Sion- Panvel Road for regular inspection, identifying potholes and plan the action to repair and fill them. Our work is being hampered by incessant rains that the area has witnessed for the past fortnight,” SPTPL said.