Mumbai Ahmedabad highway: MP Rajendra Gavit, CP slam NHAI’s unplanned concretisation work causing traffic congestion | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Mumbai Ahmedabad highway: MP Rajendra Gavit, CP slam NHAI’s unplanned concretisation work causing traffic congestion

ByMegha Sood
Mar 02, 2024 08:24 AM IST

In the meeting, the police commissioner (CP) for the Mira-Bhayander-Vasai-Virar region, Madhukar Pandey, and member of parliament Rajendra Gavit criticised the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for starting the concretisation work without any planning for alternate arrangement

MUMBAI: In order to address the grievances of the commuters, who are required to spend a minimum of three hours to cover the distance of around 29 km to reach Mira Road from Vasai due to the ongoing concretisation of the Mumbai Ahmedabad highway, a meeting was held at the police commissioner’s office on Thursday.

Kalyan India - October 20 2023 Pics :The poor condition and potholes on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway has claimed 55 lives in the past six months according to Palghar Member of Parliament Rajendra Gavit. Gavit of the Eknath Shinde Shiv Sena faction, on Friday protested on the toll booths of the national highway and stopped the employees of the NHAI from collecting toll from motorists.Photo by Pramod Tambe. Friday October 20 2023. Pramod Tambe/HT. in India 20 2023 (Photo by Pramod Tambe )
Kalyan India - October 20 2023 Pics :The poor condition and potholes on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway has claimed 55 lives in the past six months according to Palghar Member of Parliament Rajendra Gavit. Gavit of the Eknath Shinde Shiv Sena faction, on Friday protested on the toll booths of the national highway and stopped the employees of the NHAI from collecting toll from motorists.Photo by Pramod Tambe. Friday October 20 2023. Pramod Tambe/HT. in India 20 2023 (Photo by Pramod Tambe )

In the meeting, the police commissioner (CP) for the Mira-Bhayander-Vasai-Virar region, Madhukar Pandey, and member of parliament Rajendra Gavit criticised the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for starting the concretisation work without any planning for alternate arrangement. CP Madhukar Pandey and Gavit gave orders to the Highways Authority to install barricades along the stretch of 6 km, open the service roads, appoint traffic helpers, remove encroachments etc. to resolve the traffic problems.

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The work of concretisation i.e. white topping of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway is currently going on. This project has been taken up by the NHAI at a cost of 600 crore sanctioned by the Central Government. But this work is causing huge traffic jams and the citizens of Palghar and Vasai Virar have to face traffic jams for hours to go to Mumbai, Thane.

As this problem increased, Gavit organised a meeting at the police commissioner’s office on Thursday to find a solution to it. CP Madhukar Pandey, additional commissioner of Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation Ramesh Manale, additional commissioner of Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation Sambhaji Panpatte, deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) Jayant Bajbale, Project Director of Highway Authority Suhas Chitnis and others were present for the meeting.

At the very beginning of the meeting, the police showed audio-video tapes to clarify how the problem of traffic congestion had arisen. At this time, citizens expressed their anger about the ongoing work being done without any planning and sought to know, why service roads were not built before undertaking the concretisation work and why no alternate arrangements were not made.

Citizens also complained about the encroachments along the highway and demanded as to why no action was taken against the encroachers for blocking natural drains, which resulted in flooding during rains.

Basically, there was no need for concretisation. The current work is shoddy and is just starting to get potholed. Congress leader Vijay Patil demanded that a crime be registered against the contractor who did this work. Sushant Patil, president of Bhumiputra Sangathan, demanded that the work be suspended as it was the exam day.

“Basically it is necessary to work step by step. However, this problem has arisen due to taking up work consecutively,” said Manoj Barot, district vice president of BJP. Encroachments have happened again. He also said that if it had been removed, the service road could have been constructed. Shiv Sena’s Sudesh Chaudhary raised the technical issue in this work by saying that the concrete was drying up early due to evaporation.

As the highway was 30 years old, concretisation was necessary. Suhas Chitnis, project director of the NHAI, supported the work by saying that the concretization work was also going on at Panvel - Indapur, Mumbai - Nashik, Pune - Nashik stretches of the national highways. He also promised to make efforts to reduce the problem of traffic congestion.

After hearing the stakeholders, MP Rajendra Gavit ordered the authorities to investigate the work. He instructed the authority to arrange radar, take measures for black spots, and remove encroachments along the highway. He added that the problem of traffic congestion is compounded as people travel in opposite directions and cross lanes. For this, the highway authority was instructed to install barricades over a stretch of 6 km.

CP Madhukar Pandey said he had given NHAI a deadline of 24 hours to set up the barricades. But the authorities took 4 days for that. Besides, 120 traffic wardens were ordered to be deployed. It was also ordered to hold meetings of police, municipality and citizens while doing any work.

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