Despite spending Rs 1.5 crore on roadwork to make the Sion-Panvel highway monsoon ready, motorists are already experiencing a bumpy ride thanks to potholes, which began to appear even before the monsoon hit the city.
The asphalt is already wearing off on the highway, pointing to the shoddy work done in the Rs 1,220-crore road widening and concretisation project. Motorists are also unhappy about the shoddy patchwork repairs being conducted on the highway currently. Pics/Suresh KK
What’s worse, this is the second time that craters are eating away at the road since the highway was thrown open to the public last June after a widening and concretisation project that cost Rs 1,220 crore.
Last year as well, mid-day had reported how potholes had emerged on the highway within a month of the concretisation, after heavy rains lashed the satellite city (‘Beware: rocky ride ahead, July 27, 2014).
Once again, this year, motorists have had to deal with craters on the highway on various stretches outside Juinagar station, Uran Phata flyover, Kharghar junction and near Taloja link road. In addition to that, the work of constructing subways is still incomplete, which means the road is still dug up at certain points.
“The newly-widened highway has completed a year, but the quality of work does not seem to be up to the mark. Potholes have already appeared in some stretches,” said Raju Patil, a motorist who uses the highway every day.
This year, Sion-Panvel Tollways Private Limited (SPTPL) which manages the highway claims to have spent approximately Rs 1.5 crore on pre-monsoon roadwork to make the highway rain-ready.
The authorities say the heavy traffic on the road is to blame for the potholes. On a daily basis, over 50,000 vehicles utilise the 23-km highway that connects Mumbai to Panvel. “Every day, thousands of vehicles, including heavy ones, use the highway. As a result of this, the roads are bound to get damaged.
However, we have filled all the potholes so that motorists can drive without any problems,” said Sanjeet Srivastav, SPTPL’s engineer in charge of the maintenance of the highway.