Will fix potholes on Mumbai-Nashik expressway before October 25: Centre to Bombay HC

The Centre informed the HC that the repair work on the 24 km stretch between Thane and Vadape is in progress, with three teams from authority working on it and the same will be completed by Tuesday.

The central government through the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday informed the Bombay High Court that the work of filling up potholes on the Mumbai-Nashik expressway is in full flow and will be completed before October 25.

The Mumbai-Nashik Expressway is a toll road on which commuters pay Rs 120 for one-way travel on the nearly 100-km stretch.

This comes after the high court on September 24 asked the Centre and Maharashtra government to be “serious” about the issue of potholes on the Mumbai-Nashik Expressway and other highways in Maharashtra and make coordinated efforts to ensure precious lives are not lost due to the poor condition of roads.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni had taken cognisance of news reports on potholes on the Mumbai-Nashik highway, a part of the old Mumbai-Agra Highway.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh representing the Centre informed the HC that the repair work on the 24 km stretch between Thane and Vadape is in progress, with three teams from authority working on it and the same will be completed by Tuesday, “unless there is heavy rainfall in the area.”

He also added that repair and work on filling up potholes for the rest of the expressway, between Vadape and Nashik (97 km) will be completed in nearly three weeks, with seven teams working on it, as the 4 to 5 km stretch is ‘severely damaged.’ He said that the said work will be complete before the next hearing.

“Please come back next on October 25 and give us the status of the filling up of potholes and patchwork, ” the bench told the Centre and adjourned the hearing.

Nashik guardian minister Chhagan Bhujbal had recently pulled up senior National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and PWD officials for the poor condition of the stretch. Bhujbal warned officials of action if the highway was not repaired soon.

The Indian Express on September 15 reported about the poor state of the Mumbai-Nashik Expressway and the Bhiwandi Bypass connecting Thane and the expressway.

On September 20, while hearing a PIL raising concerns over the poor condition of the Mumbai-Goa Highway and delay in completion of its widening work, the HC asked the state government to consider a state-wide policy with “concrete measures” to deal with the “recurring issue” of potholes on public roads and highways to avoid accidents and traffic jams suffered by “common citizens”.

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