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After two deaths, MSRDC wakes up to ensure ‘safe’ expressway

On June 22, a landslide had taken place near Khandala tunnel blocking the expressway for over 36 hours.

Written by MANOJ MORE, Sushant Kulkarni | Pune |
July 21, 2015 2:46:22 am
Pune-Mumbai Expressway, landslide death, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation , MSRDC , raod safety, expressway safety, mumbai news, city news, local news, maharashtra news, Indian Express On June 22, a landslide had taken place near Khandala tunnel blocking the expressway for over 36 hours.

Even as traffic was restored on Pune-Mumbai Expressway after Sunday’s landslide, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation Monday woke up to take a slew of measures — immediate and permanent — to avoid any such landslide incidents on expressway in future and ensure a “safe” travel of thousands of motorists.

To begin with, the MSRDC has decided to conduct a fresh geological survey of the rocky area along the expressway.

“Today we held an urgent meeting with the director of Geological Survey of India where it was decided to conduct a fresh geological survey of the region. This will help us to identify the sensitive locations and required corrective action,” said Anil Diggikar, vice-chairman and managing director of MSRDC.


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Officials said a geological survey had been conducted before the expressway was planned over a decade and half back. “In view of the monsoon and urgency of the situation, the survey will be immediately conducted this week,” he said.

Diggikar said another measure includes removing loose rocks with the help of 70 metre high cranes. “We have two such cranes available in Maharashtra and would press them into service immediately this week. All loose rocks would be removed forthwith,” he said.
The third measure, said Diggikar, includes putting steelwire mesh like done in Switzerland around the rocks and boulders which seem sensitive to a fall.

“A survey will be conducted this week to find out such rocks along the hills and wiremesh put up. Such a measure is already in place in Amboli and Malshej ghat area,” he said.

Diggikar said MSRDC was also planning extension of the Adoshi tunnel with steel cover.

“Since boulders are reported falling near Adoshi tunnel, we are contemplating a steel structure ahead of the tunnel which could take the impact of the fall.

Diggikar said they also briefed the chief minister about the steps taken today. “He has given us a go ahead.”

S G Sonawane, superintendent with the State Highway Police said, “The traffic on the expressway was brought to its normal flow in the early hours of Monday. Though we had communicated to the MSRDC in the past, after the landslide on Sunday, we have again written to them through our headquarters. We have asked them that a thorough survey of the entire Ghat section be done and the new nets be installed.”

The Pune division of the State Highway Police has given MSRDC a list of the landslide vulnerable spots in the past but the agency had not taken any initiative.

Police also said that the even the IRB (the company which has been given the contract of maintenance of the expressway), has not responded to the requests for small structural changes at individual spots along the route.

On June 22, a landslide had taken place near Khandala tunnel blocking the expressway for over 36 hours.

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