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Landslide shuts Malshej Ghat route for traffic till Thursday; driver injured

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) could remove only 10% of boulders because of suspicion over more landslides and rockfalls. It will resume clearing of the road on Wednesday morning.

mumbai Updated: Aug 22, 2018 00:27 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
MAHARASHTRA,malshej ghat,NHAI
The ghat has been closed for traffic until Thursday.(HT FILE)

The Malshej Ghat route will remain shut for vehicles for at least two days after a landslide and minor rockfalls blocked the road, 500m from Charti Point and 90km from Thane, early on Tuesday. A truck driver suffered minor injuries.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) could remove only 10% of boulders because of suspicion over more landslides and rockfalls. It will resume clearing of the road on Wednesday morning. The landslide occurred after heavy rain.

The Malshej Ghat route is a crucial link to Pune and Ahmednagar from Mumbai. Chatri Point witnessed a landslide a month ago too. Malshej Ghat is a popular picnic spot among trekkers and adventure lovers especially during monsoon.

Dinesh Mahajan, executive engineer of NHAI, said, “There was a major landslide accompanied by a minor rockfall around 3.30am. The landslide has completely blocked the road since Tuesday morning. There is heavy rainfall in the ghat. The visibility is also low owing to fog. Minor rockfalls are still being reported. The fear of another landslide is still lurking, thus we could not completely clear the road of boulders. We have completed 10% of the work and will resume on Wednesday morning because as it is unsafe right now. The ghat has been closed for traffic until Thursday.”

The Malshej Ghat road, a 10-km stretch, is the only fastest motorable stretch for people commuting from Kalyan to Ahmednagar. Around 1,000 vehicles take the route daily, which is prone to landslides and has been shut multiple times during monsoon. NHAI had identified at least 10 dangerous spots along this road.

The truck driver, Amol Dahiphale who was injured, is a resident of Ahmednagar. He was admitted to Mahuli Hospital in Alephata and was stable.

“People can use Pune or Nasik highway to go to Ahmednagar until the ghat route is reopened,” said Mahajan.

Last year, the ghat road was shut for traffic for one week after a major landslide.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 00:24 IST