Bumpy ride on Sion-Pan­vel high­way makes mo­torists fume

‘SHAME’ STORY Con­ces­sion­aire claims that it has un­der­taken timely re­pair to fill pot­holes and pits

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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