NHAI to eliminate deadly S-shape curve on Pune-Satara road
Recently, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) completed the tender process for the tunnel, which according to officials, will be an alternative to the deadly curveUpdated: Dec 27, 2018 16:46 IST
The deadly S-shaped curve near Khambatki ghat on Pune-Satara road, which has claimed more than 75 lives in last 10 years, will soon be eliminated as the work on the new tunnel will start within a month after the foundation stone was laid on Sunday. On December 23, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis along with Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways carried out the groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed tunnel project.
Recently, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) completed the tender process for the tunnel, which according to officials, will be an alternative to the deadly curve. Earlier, Hindustan Times had highlighted how the S-shaped curve at the ghat section is claiming lives. Earlier in April, 18 people lost their lives in accidents near the S-shaped curve.
“Land acquisition process for this project is almost complete and the actual work of elimination of the deadly S-shaped curve will be starting within a month. A tender of Rs 500 crore has been awarded to Gayatri Constructions Private Limited and the project is expected to complete within a span of three years,” said Suhas Chitnis, project director, NHAI. According to officials, around 48 hector land will be required for the project that cost Rs 500 crore. Once complete, the tunnel will offer a major respite to people travelling towards Pune and Satara.
It was in 2015, that the NHAI had decided to eliminate the deadly S-shape curve, and instructions regarding this were given to Reliance Infra. However, due to ongoing road widening work on Satara-Pune highway, it was kept aside.
Known as a black spot (mishap spot), located around one kilometre from the Khambatki ghat towards Pune, on a highway under the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the flawed design of the road has claimed over 75 lives from 2008 till 2017. According to the local police, the absence of inclination on the steep slope involving curves often becomes dangerous for drivers. While the NHAI had recently put up a metal crash barrier, road accidents have not abated.
To remove the deadly curve the local police in Satara district had written over 50 letters to NHAI, urging them to take corrective steps. However, the highway authorities said the project, which involves structural changes to remove the curves and straighten the road is stuck due to land acquisition problems.
As per the proposed plan, the six-lane, two-way tunnel will give direct access to another side of the hill, which is part of the Khambatki ghat. Earlier, four spots from Khambatki ghat on the Satara-Pune highway were identified as accident-prone spots by the highway police.
First Published: Dec 27, 2018 16:45 IST