There is good news for tourists travelling to Matheran from Neral via road. In order to provide a safe and accident-free journey to tourists, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has decided to survey the 7-km-long stretch following which it will carry out the road widening work and install safety railings on either side of the road.
Confirming the development, MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar said, “Matheran is one of the most visited tourist destinations near Mumbai and in order to improve the condition of the road in the ghat section and install safety railings wherever necessary, we will be conducting a survey shortly after which necessary changes will be implemented. These implementations will ensure that tourists reach Matheran safely from Neral.”
Currently, the Public Works Department (PWD) maintains the road leading to the hill station from Neral. Since the state wants to develop Matheran into a world-class tourist destination, there are chances that it might seek MMRDA’s help.
Road widening work is currently in progress on the Karjat-Kalyan, Karjat-Chowk, Karjat-Khopoli road and hence it is crucial to widen the Neral-Matheran road to avoid ugly traffic jams in the area. The present 7-km-long road, passing through the ghat, has several sharp turns. Besides, several places lack safety railings, forcing motorists to drive with utmost precaution to avoid accidents.
Another problem is that several tourists who visit Matheran halt in-between to take pictures of the panoramic view the ghat offers. In their bid to click pictures, several park their vehicles haphazardly, thus inviting disaster. Officials of the Neral police station said that at least two minor accidents occur on a daily basis in the ghat.
Earlier, the MMRDA had planned to come up with a funicular railway in Matheran, but scrapped the idea after its authorities discovered that the PWD had plans to start a ropeway. Though the ropeway was planned long back, PWD officials still await clearances from various departments.