PWD's Madhe Ghat road work stalled by inadequate funds
Officials of Public Works Department (PWD) of Pune circle have waited an entire year in the hope that they would get the remaining amount of the proposed Rs. 148 crore from the state government, to build a 13-km stretch connecting Kelaad village in Velha Taluka to Madhe Ghat, as a new tourist destination
In the last year, the state government has only sanctioned the initial amount of Rs. 2 crore out of the total cost of Rs. 150 crore. The paltry sum received is not even enough to start the initial developmental work of the road, PWD officials say.
“The road connecting Kelaad village and the table land of Madhe Ghat is completely patchy. Not only this; huge rocky walls present in the ghat need rigorous excavation. To start this work, the amount of Rs. 2 crore is insufficient,” said superintendent engineer of PWD of Pune circle, DG Malekar.
He added that the plan of a new road was ready and the survey and levelling of the entire stretch is over.
Sum and substance
“Generally, the state government distributes the funds for the development of those roads, which have maximum connectivity with other roads. Besides, the government also thinks twice about giving funds to projects with higher estimated costs. Although the road development at Madhe Ghat would mean connectivity to only one place, i.e Mahad, it would reduce the trip to Mangaon taluka in Raigarh district by minimum 15 kilometres,” said Malekar.
About 55 km from the city, Madhe Ghat is known as mini Mahabaleshwar due to the presence of a huge plateau, like the table land in Panchgani near Mahabaleswar. However, owing to lack of road connectivity, tourists often ignore the place.
“The road development would certainly increase the tourist activities in Madhe Ghat, which would also mean employment opportunities for villagers of Kelaad,” said Velha tehsildar Shivaji Talape. He added that villagers and town administration were also putting in efforts to convincing the local representatives to table the issue in the state assembly for the release of immediate funds for the road development.
When MiD DAY contacted local Congress MLA Sangram Thopte, he said that he was trying to get an appointment with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to have a discussion on this specific issue.
“I am already corresponding with CM Chavan about the overall development of Velha taluka, and the road development of Madhe Ghat is on top of my list of priorities. It would not only attract tourists, but road connectivity would also help in the overall development of Kelaad village,” added Thopte.