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Second landslide incident at Sinhagad ghat section may keep fort out of bounds for tourists during monsoon

This year too, the forest department has closed down the road and it is unclear when exactly the road will be reopened. 

pune Updated: Jul 16, 2018 17:21 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
landslide,Sinhagad ghat,fort
This year too, the forest department has closed down the road and it is unclear when exactly the road will be reopened. (HT PHOTO)

Last year, the forest department and the public works department had closed down the road for almost three months for repair work, after a landslide hit on July 30. The road was reopened only in November.

This year too, the forest department has closed down the road and it is unclear when exactly the road will be reopened.

“While clearing the debris, we noticed that a section of basalt rock had become unstable and so as a protective measure, we kept the road closed,” said MP Bhavsar, assistant conservator of forest, MP Bhavsar.

The recent landslide is bigger than the previous one and it will take at least a week to clear the road.

“There are several huge boulders and we need to use crushers along with earthmoving machines. The continuous heavy downpour is also creating problems for the ongoing work. Due to these back to back incidents of landslide, we are not allowing anyone to use the road. Once we are sure that the road is safe, then we will allow tourists,” Bhavsar added.

When asked whether the department is planning to close the road for several months like last year, Bhavsar said that it is difficult to predict landslides. “We will try our best to keep tourists away from danger. Normally during monsoon, the traffic on the ghat road becomes tenfold. In case of emergency, it would be difficult to rescue the tourists. Also, there is no alternate route available,” he said.

Picnic-goers add to chaos, bad roads, say residents

The residents of Kirkatwadi, Kolhewadi and Khadakwasla, off Sinhgad road are facing a tough time commuting due to the innumerable potholes on barely one kilemetre stretch of road. The heavy influx of visitors Khadakwasla and Sinhgad fort in the weekends, especially during monsoon season, is worsening the situation, say residents.

“PWD minister Chandrakant Dada Patil had an ambitious plan to fill the potholes by December 16, 2017. So, potholes between Nanded phata and Khadakwasla were filled up but as the monsoon began, the roads have worn out completely”, said Prakash Pawar, one of the residents of Kirkatwadi and a member of kirkatwadi development forum.

He said that the big potholes are turning into death traps for commuters. Several motorists find it impossible to drive in through this stretch and many a time, they meet with an accident, he added.

“The entire stretch is in a bad shape. We appeal the officials of the public works department to repair the road as soon as possible,” he said.

Thousands of picnic-goers use Sinhgad road to go to Kandakwasla, Panshet and Sinhgad fort , which is the only route to go to these picnic spots.

“On Sundays, the influx of the vehicles increases resulting in traffic jams and bottlenecks. The bad roads adds to the chaos and the situation goes bad to worse,” Datta Rupanwar, resident and another member of kirkatwadi development forum.

First Published: Jul 16, 2018 17:21 IST