Mumbai-Pune Expressway reopens for public

Work on Khandala-Khopoli stretch post July 19 landslide wrapped up

Nearly two weeks after a landslide on the Mumbai-Pune expressway between Khandala and Khopoli killed two and injured three others, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) ended the work of removing loose boulders from the stretch on Friday night.

Also read: No road blocks on Mumbai-Pune expressway over weekend

Men at work on Mumbai-Pune Expressway
Men at work on Mumbai-Pune Expressway 

The boulders, some as tall as 20-storey buildings, were cleared using a 70-metre high crane, hired from a private contractor. MSRDC Vice Chairman and Managing Director Anil Diggikar said, "The work of removing dangerous boulders from the Expressway has been completed with the help of a team from Spain, experienced in similar work."

An MSRDC engineer, who was part of the project, said, "They cleared the boulders with the help of a harness, safety gear and crow bars." Two teams of 50 members cleared around 20 trucks of loose boulders.

However, on Saturday afternoon, another landslide occurred near the Khandala tunnel. According to MSRDC officials, it took place at 5pm and incoming traffic from Pune was diverted via NH4. Light vehicles were diverted to the old Mumbai-Pune highway till midnight, leaving only heavy vehicles to ply on the Expressway.

MLA Eknath Shinde visited the site of the accident more than a week ago, following which it was decided that the Expressway would close. Acting on suggestions from IIT-Bombay and Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), the MSRDC will now begin restoration on dangerous locations which will identify after a geological survey along the stretch that passes from the ghat section and hills.

Steel tensile wire nets fitted with bolts into the rocks will be installed horizontally, strong enough to hold back rocks that weigh more than 1,000 kg.

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