Motorists using the arterial Sion-Panvel Highway were dreading the onset of the monsoons and after a month into the rainy season, their worst fears have come true. Already finding it backbreaking to commute due to the congestion as a result of some lanes on the existing route sacrificed for the proposed ten-lane Expressway project, making the stretch narrower, the potholes that have sprung up are adding to the woes of the commuters.
Motorists say certain stretches are practically impassable due to the craters. Kharghar resident Ravi Srivastav said that the short-term arrangement, which has been made for motorists, has brought little relief.
“The temporary road was laid so that till the time the construction work would go on, it would help motorists. But, then the numerous potholes which have appeared because of the monsoons this year are making the situation worse,” said Srivastav.
The highway, which connects the city to Panvel via Navi Mumbai, is currently in the midst of a major renovation project, aimed at converting the six-lane highway into a ten-lane Expressway.
Even auto rickshaw drivers are feeling the brunt, stating that they are finding it difficult to drive along the highway daily. Auto driver Jagdish Gupta, who has been riding through the stretch for a decade now, said, “My auto is breaking down more frequently these days, thanks to these potholes.”
During peak hours, the congestion worsens said Juinagar resident Rameshwar Thorat (24), adding that although in the morning traffic is expected, there is no respite during the day as well. “The stretch from DY Patil stadium to Kharghar is perennially jammed, which is a sheer waste of our time and fuel. There is very little we can do about it,” said Thorat.
Executive engineer from the Public Works Department (PWD), Rajendra Jawanjal, who is in charge of the maintenance of the Sion-Panvel Highway, said that as the concretisation of the road is ongoing, a temporary arrangement has been made for the vehicles.
“I am, however, aware that at certain points like the Juinagar railway station, LP Nerul and Kharghar, there is congestion due to the ongoing work. We have been to the spots today and would be working towards filling the potholes. Temporary repair work will be carried out using paver blocks, which should reduce the woes of motorists to a great extent.”
Driving along the Sion-Panvel Highway has become very troublesome these days. With Navi Mumbai having developed in recent years, the traffic has increased because of which commuting along this stretch is cumbersome
-- Wasim Shaikh
There are so many potholes on the road that driving becomes very difficult. There is a constant fear of skidding due to the craters as well
-- Navnath Jadhav
The rains have made the roads worse. This year the rains have come in early and the temporary roads prepared by the authorities for motorists seem to have been washed away
-- Avinash Parbhani