Motorists heading for Matheran, which figures high up on the list of weekend destinations for Mumbaikars, can expect a smoother journey by the next monsoon, as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has decided to award a contract for reconstruction of the 7-km-long road between Dasturi Naka and Neral.

The toy train takes about two hours to reach Matheran from Neral. File pic
The toy train takes about two hours to reach Matheran from Neral. File pic

Besides this, the project also proposes the improvement of dangerous curves and increasing the height of safety walls. The entire project is set to cost the MMRDA over R25 crore, for which tenders are expected to be awarded by October.

Currently, the condition of the road going towards Dasturi Naka from Neral is poor. Navigating the sharp turns in the ghat section becomes difficult at night, and has resulted in many accidents. The MMRDA plans to repair the road by topping it with a layer of bitumen.

“For now, we will only reconstruct the road. The widening project will be considered later, so that motorists get extra space to drive. The road also lacks lane marking, signage and reflectors, all of which will be done while relaying its surface.

Tenders for the reconstruction will be finalised by October. The work is expected to be over before next monsoon,” informed an MMRDA official. Once the road is repaired, it will cut down the travelling time from over an hour to 45 minutes. Travelling from Neral to Matheran via the toy train takes around two hours.