The Sion-Panvel highway, which was recently widened, held much promise for the city’s commuters driving to Thane, Vashi and Panvel. However, not everything is all right with the 10-lane highway.
The pothole-ridden stretch of the Sion-Panvel Expressway near Juinagar station
Lows for the highway
The project, which cost the city Rs 1,220 crore, is already pothole-ridden on both sides outside Juinagar railway station in Navi Mumbai. Just a few days after the city received rainfall, the stretch was pockmarked, affecting heavy traffic. The highway is a busy one, as it offers better connectivity for motorists going northward. The Sion Panvel Tollways Pvt Ltd commenced work on the stretch in 2011.
Cars and heavy vehicles often slow down on the pothole-laden stretch. When contacted, Ramesh Agavane, the engineer in charge of the Sion-Panvel highway, said, “Potholes on the Juinagar stretch are not due to the recent widening work. The stretch under consideration is yet to be developed as some expansion work is still underway. We plan to repair the Juinagar stretch after its completion.
Meanwhile, motorists continue to face a daunting ride on the stretch. Panvel resident Alok Srivastav, 43, who works with a private shipping firm, said, “I commute from Panvel to Juinagar every day. Potholes developing near Juinagar are downright dangerous as motorists, especially those on two-wheelers, suddenly brake and turn there. The traffic is heavy on this stretch and a fatal mishap is just waiting to happen.”
Commuters at risk
Saiesh Chodankar, a 23-year-old student, said, “I live in Vashi and go to college in Nerul on my bike. In spite of being on the highway, I am forced to slow down near Juinagar every day due to the potholes there. I often lose balance there. It just isn’t
safe anymore.” The Sion-Panvel expressway is a 25-km long highway connecting Mumbai to Panvel via Navi Mumbai. Around 50,000 vehicles ply on the Sion-Panvel highway daily.