A day after the Mumbai-Goa highway was shut for traffic due to a landslide at Kashedi Ghat, public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that the state government would soon submit a proposal for widening the ghat.
“A preliminary report for four-laning of the 101 kms from Indapur to Kashedi has been submitted for the Centre's approval. The plan is to have an alternate tunnel and a four-lane highway along the 3km ghat,” Bhujbal said. "But, since the entire route will take time to be widened, we will request the Centre to consider just these 3kms first.'
The issue of four-laning of the picturesque Mumbai-Goa highway has been in debate for a long time. Locals have been agitating with the demand, since the highway has several accident-prone spots. It is also vulnerable to landslides in monsoon.
The Mumbai-Goa highway became inoperable for vehicles after a landslide early on Sunday morning. After the debris had been cleared, another landslide occurred at the same spot, resulting in a near-total breakdown of traffic. The blockage on the ghat was around 100 to 120 feet in height and nearly 30-40 feet wide. On Monday, at around four in the evening, state and highway authorities managed to remove the debris and open the route for traffic.
Bhujbal, who chaired a meeting on the issue at the state secretariat met officials of National Highway Authority, including the chief engineer of national highway, PS Madpe, and engineers from his department. It was decided that only heavy vehicles would be allowed to pass on the freshly-cleared route; private cars and ST buses would be diverted along the Natunagar-Vinhare route.