This monsoon, expect safer journey via Malshej ghatcities Updated: May 03, 2017 23:51 IST
Your commute to Malshej ghat is likely to get safer as the state national highway department is undertaking several pre-monsoon work and is likely to complete it in the next two months.
Some of the works completed include construction of the retaining at 44 locations, installation of crash barriers and grade improvement that was initiated in 2016. The Malshej Ghat road, a 10-kilometre stretch, is the only motorable road for people commuting from Kalyan to Ahmednagar. Around 1,000 vehicles use this stretch daily. An accident-prone road owing to landslides during monsoon, the stretch has at least 10 dangerous posts.
A Public Works Department (PWD) official, which is doing the repair works, said, “The road has several overhanging cliffs and narrow bends, making it accident-prone. Hence, retaining walls were a must. We identified and build the wall at 44 spots along the road and completed the project last week. Now we are focusing on grade improvement for the road, which includes geometric improvements to avoid steep slopes.”
He added that work on installing horizontal crash barriers to trap rocks falling from the mountains during a landslide is underway.
“The work will last for at least two months following which the road will become much safer during monsoon. We have requested a 10-day of block from the traffic department and the tehsil to finish this work. We are awaiting their reply.”
Prasad Ukarde, sub-divisional officer, Kalyan, said, “The ghat was supposed to be shut for motorists from April 25, but we are yet to decide on the detours. The decision will be taken in the next few days, following which the ghat will be cordoned off for at least 10 days.”
Another official added that once the block is imposed, motorists travelling towards Ahmednagar will have to take the Nashik Road and the Old Pune Road to reach Pune.
About Malsej ghat
Malshej Ghat is located 90-km from Thane on Kalyan- Murbad- Nagar Road. A popular picnic spot during monsoon, it is frequented by trekkers and adventure lovers. Nestled in the Western Ghats, a few reverse water falls can also be witnessed in case of strong winds and heavy rains.
Safety tips by National Highway Authority
Avoid travelling at night in heavy rain
Don’t drink and drive
Abide by the speed limit — 50 km/hr for light vehicles and 30 km/hr for heavy vehicles
In case of sharp turns, speed must not exceed 20 km/hr for light and 10 km/hr for heavy vehicles
Drive safely using the yellow-coloured cat eyes on either side of the road
Don’t overtake, give preference to vehicles climbing the ghat
Don’t park on roads
Check the vehicle tyres for sufficient air pressure, brakes, headlights and reflectors
In case of a breakdown, immediately contact the highway police
Alert the highway police or NHAI in case of a landslide
Past and present danger
*In January, 2014, 27 people were killed and eight were injured after a a Maharashtra State Regional Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus fell into a gorge at Tokawade village near Murbad
Every year, the ghat is blocked for major part of the monsoon due to regular landslides in the area
The 10-km stretch is the only route for people travelling from Kalyan to Ahmednagar and is used by nearly 1,000 motorists daily. The stretch has 10 dangerous spots
The authority will pay special attention to the stretch from Chatri Point to the tunnel, which has is landslide-prone owing to a mountain on one side and a deep valley on the other.