Sluggish pace of road works irks Matheran locals

Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 07:24 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Residents say despite several appeals to MMRDA, work pace has reduced drastically post lockdown on the supposedly eco-friendly road

Work order for Dasturi to Matheran pathway and parking work was issued in September 2019
Work order for Dasturi to Matheran pathway and parking work was issued in September 2019

Residents of Matheran who depend on the internal roads for commuting are not happy with the pace of the road construction undertaken by MMRDA which is building an eco-friendly road using the mud paver blocks.

Talking to mid-day, Sunil Shinde, a resident of Matheran said, "MMRDA is constructing a 5 km eco-friendly clay block road at the cost of Rs 46 crore from Aman Lodge station near Dasturi Naka car parking to Shivaji Nagar in Matheran. But the work is being carried out at a slow pace leading to inconvenience to the locals."

"The 100-metre road is a major hurdle for battery operated E rickshaw. The road is very stiff with almost 25% gradation. So the road needs to be levelled, for the e-rickshaw to climb. Our Shramik Reeksha Sanghatna has regularly approached MMRDA requesting them to speed up the work," added Shinde.

In Matheran, MMRDA has taken up various works which include improvement and beautification of four viewpoints i.e Panorama, Myra, Heart and Echo point. According to MMRDA, the said work is 60 per cent complete after getting permissions from all hurdles of NGT, Matheran Monitoring Committee etc.

The officials further said that the work order for Dasturi to Matheran pathway and parking work was issued in September 2019 and the completion date is May 2022.

"The parking work is 70 per cent done while the pathway work is 15 per cent complete. The entire work is being carried out in an Eco-sensitive Zone which has stringent restrictions like entire material required is to be transported by hand carting or by horses," an MMRDA official said.

"The delays are due to COVID-19 pandemic as the labourers went back to their hometowns. There also has been a shortage of materials from stone quarries. Moreover, we have to stop the work every time there's a positive case in the nearby area," he added.

"We requested the collector to allow tractor in restricted hours to help in transporting material. After several follow-ups, we were granted permission. But within 2-3 days, the permission was withdrawn as the Horse union and locals opposed the move," an MMRDA official in charge of the work said.

Rs 46 crore
Total cost of the project

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