Only 25% work done on Pune Satara highway
The National Highway Authority of India is yet to complete the repair work of the 34-km stretch that has killed almost 130 commuters in the last 3 yrs
It has been almost nine months since the Pune traffic department surveyed and forwarded a detailed list of 20 accident-prone areas on the 34-km stretch of Dehu Road-Katraj bypass, linking Pune with Pimpri-Chinchwad, to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
Dangerous roads: With the start of monsoon season, the Pune-Satara highway will become the most hazardous road for travellers. File pic
However, till date, the authority has managed to complete only 25 per cent of the work. With the oncoming monsoon, the stretch of NH-4 will be one of the most hazardous roads for travellers. Sensing the gravity of the situation, the traffic department has threatened to file a case of negligence against the NHAI authorities.
Senior police inspector (Traffic) of Hinjewadi, Sanjay Bhambure, had conducted a study of the road for three months. The report had identified many spots that were prone to accidents, and highlighted safety issues, like absence of road signage, punctures of road median, absence of streetlights, and absence of safe pedestrian crossings marks. This report was submitted to the NHAI, asking them to take adequate safety measures on the highway.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Vishwas Pandhare, said, "Despite several letters and reminders to NHAI, asking them to take immediate measures to ensure safety of commuters, they have failed to complete the work so far. We have decided to file a case of negligence in case of any accident that takes place due to lack of adequate safety measures.”
Number of commuters who have lost their lives in the last three years on the 34-km stretch of the highway
Nine people were killed and three were injured when a container fell on a jeep at Khambatki ghat on the Pune-Satara highway
February 4, 2014
Ten people were killed and around 30 injured when a tourist bus turned turtle and a container from a heavy commercial vehicle fell on it, 700 meters outside Khambatki ghat tunnel.
The other side
The NHAI on its part has admitted its inability to carry out the repairs, citing lack of funds with the department. The highway authority is now looking to seek permission from the top leaders of the NHAI in New Delhi to procure funds to complete the repair work. Rajesh Kumar Kaundal, project director of NHAI for Pune-Satara highway, said, “More than 25 per cent of
safety-related work has been completed. We have installed crash barriers, closed dividers and the construction of underpass and subways are in progress, which will be completed by the end of this year.”