While the ongoing expansion of the Sion-Panvel highway has made travelling difficult for people who commute daily between Panvel and the island city, the onset of the monsoon has brought with it more problems. The six-lane project is being expanded into a 10-lane expressway to ease traffic woes.
The 23.09 km-stretch that connects Mumbai to Panvel via Navi Mumbai has developed several potholes throughout the stretch and the uneven surface is causing inconvenience to motorists. About 50,000 motorists use the road on a regular basis and another one-lakh motorists will be added to the current figure after the completion of the project in May 2014.
The bad condition of the road also causes traffic snarls at many locations, especially during peak hours. Sidney D’souza who lives in Vashi said, “The stretch at Mankhurd is also very bad. The bad stretch leads to traffic issues during morning and evening peak hours.” Also, if you are travelling from CBD Belapur towards Kharghar, the four-lane road suddenly turns into a two-lane one without visible signs or signals, causing bottlenecks.
Nerul resident Pravin Thakur who uses the road to travel to his workplace in Vashi said, “Several bikers end up almost colliding with cars. The fear of an accident taking place on the stretch is always there.” He added that the condition of his vehicle has been deteriorating due to the potholes.
Ravi Srivastav, another regular user of the road, complained that there are no boards or signs informing commuters about the bad condition of the road. “Why can’t there be boards mentioning when the work commenced and when would it be completed? At least people like us would know till when this torture will continue.”
When MiD DAY contacted a Public Works Department (PWD) official he said, “We have been trying to fill the potholes whenever there is a dry spell. We are using premium quality concrete to construct the road as it helps in better resurfacing of the road. Our workers end up working at nights as well to complete the road as soon as possible.” The expansion work on the Sion-Panvel road began in January last year.
Due to several potholes on the road, car users have to change lanes many times. Traffic jams make us late for work.
Amanpreet Singh Chadha, Vashi
I travel to my office in Ghatkopar from Kharghar and the bad condition of the Sion-Panvel road has been causing a lot of pain since the onset of the rains.
Rajesh K Shreevasta, Kharghar
I am an auto driver and every time I take the stretch my vehicle ends up getting damaged. Therefore, I have stopped ferrying on routes that require me to use this road
Shiv Das, Nerul
During peak hours the congestion worsens. Potholes that are the size of craters add to our woes.
Sanjay Babar, Kopar Khairane