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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

For poor road stretch, NHAI fines MNEL Rs 1.8 crore

Over the past month, commuters travelling to Mumbai from Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Nashik and vice versa have had to face massive traffic jams due to heavily potholed road stretches.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
Updated: October 1, 2021 8:18:33 am
Traffic at Sion-Panvel road near Kharghar in Navi Mumbai. (Express photo by Narendra Vaskar)

The National Highway Authority of India has levied a fine of Rs 1.8 crore on Mumbai Nashik Expressway Limited (MNEL) for poor maintenance of the road stretch.

NHAI project director Bhausaheb Salunke said, “The MNEL has deposited a penalty of Rs 1.8 crore with us for not conforming to the standards about one and half months back. There are many pothole ridden stretches and the MNEL has been told to fill them up by October 15 or else face action.”

Over the past month, commuters travelling to Mumbai from Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Nashik and vice versa have had to face massive traffic jams due to heavily potholed road stretches.

Girish Kamath, chief technical officer of MNEL, said, “We had paid the penalty. But now there are four stretches that are poor and need attention. Due to the Cyclone Gulab and incessant rains, we have not got a dry spell to do the bituminous works. We are trying to complete everything by October 15. We have faced enough vagaries of the monsoon’’

Several ministers have been complaining about the poor state of roads in the state. Nashik guardian minister Chhagan Bhujbal has been saying that it takes nearly six hours from Mumbai to Nashik instead of three and a half hours earlier.

Mihir Bhagvati, owner of a resort at Upper Vaitarna near Igatpuri, said that parts of the expressway at Khardi, Shahapur, Padgha, Atgaon and Chirpoli are in a bad state and it is difficult to navigate these stretches even in sturdily built SUVs.

On Thursday, Thane guardian minister Eknath Shinde toured various parts of Thane and Palghar to create parking lots where trucks can be parked to avoid jams on the Mumbai Nashik highway.

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