Dug-up Ulhasnagar road is commuters’ nightmareUpdated: Jan 23, 2020 00:45 IST
Kalyan The work of widening Kalyan-Badlapur road is underway with most portions dug up on both the sides of the stretch.
The 8km-long Kalyan-Badlapur links Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath and Badlapur.
Two years ago, the work was stalled owning to encroachments on the stretch, which comes under Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC).
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said it would complete the work before monsoon.
“We have sanctioned ₹3.14 crore for the work on the stretch and the civic body has been asked to carry out the work without delay so that the widening work is completed on time,” said an official from MMRDA, who did not wish to be named.
The dug-up road has created a traffic mess.
There are no barricades, no signboards to alert commuters of the work in progress and illegal parking of vehicles has added to the traffic congestion.
“There is no proper traffic management. There are no safety measures taken as the road which is dug has no barricades. It takes more than an hour to travel from Kalyan to Ambernath,” said Vijay Salvi, 38, who takes the stretch to reach his workplace in Ambernath daily.
“On Sunday, I and my family were stuck in the traffic for at least an hour at Forest Naka. It was difficult to drive,” said Satish Pillai, 39, who lives in Kalyan.
Students of Guru Govind School near Follower lane are often seen walking on the dug-up portion, playing on the pile of mud or stones kept for the road work.
At Shantinagar in Ulhasnagar, the silt removed from the underground drainage line dug up for road-widening work has been piled up on the roadside. This has made it difficult for vehicles to move.
A UMC official, requesting anonymity, said, “We have directed the department to remove the piled-up silt at Shantinagar. We will ensure motorists are not inconvenienced.”
Autorickshaws are parked in the middle of the road at Shivaji Chowk in Ulhasnagar as one side of the road is dug up. There is hardly any space left for vehicles.
Going towards Ambernath , commuters’ nightmare continues as the road at Forest Naka and road outside the Ambernath police station is also dug up and there are several small roads that merge on the stretch.
“It has become difficult to handle the chaos on the road. We don’t have enough manpower to manage traffic. At least 40 personnel and wardens are deployed on the stretch daily. If we find spots which are unsafe, we ask the authority to barricade,” said Sunil Jadhav, traffic inspector, Ambernath unit
The work of Kalyan-Badlapur link road was delayed due to encroachments, lack of funds and shifting utilities like pipelines and electric poles.
The road-widening work has been given to different contractors.
The stretch from Forest Naka to Sai Baba temple was under public works department (PWD). In 2013, it was handed over to the MMRDA, which had planned to widen the stretch by 100 feet.
UMC officials said MMRDA will widen the road by 30 feet only owning to lack of space.
On Monday, MMRDA officials wrote to UMC commissioner Sudhakar Deshmukh, asking him to raze structures on this stretch, divert drainage line and change the panels of the concrete road which falls on the Kalyan-Badlapur road and comes under the civic body’s jurisdiction.
An MMRDA official said, “We have barricaded most stretches but miscreants either steal the barricades or damage them when our workers are not around. We are taking the help of on-duty traffic police to curb such incidents. Commuters should also follow traffic rules so that there is discipline on the road.”