The Mumbai-Bangalore highway may be opened for traffic today afternoon or evening, after being closed for several days due to flooding.
Officers from Maharashtra State Highway Patrol said they are assessing the situation at Shirol in Kolhapur on the highway, where the road has been closed for six days now. The police teams are examining the possibility of opening the road around 6 pm today for essential services, but only after primary inspection by Public Works Department officials.
The highway could be opened for traffic by Sunday afternoon as the floodwater is receding, provided it does not rain in the meantime, said Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar.
However, it won’t be opened for general traffic immediately, since the government is planning to create a green corridor for vehicles carrying relief material to Sangli and Kolhapur.
“We have arranged the vehicles in such a manner that those carrying relief material, such as food, water and goods for daily use, will be allowed to travel first. Also, we have been informed by our colleagues in Karnataka that the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway is blocked at three spots in Karnataka too due to road damages. So, it would be futile to let general traffic from Kolhapur travel to Bengaluru,” said Mhaisekar.
The divisional commissioner also said that to co-ordinate collection and delivery of relief material for flood-affected areas, two teams headed by deputy collectors have been formed.
“People who want to send relief material should contact the teams. They can find out from them what relief material is needed and also get preferential treatment to travel on the highway, so that help reaches the destinations as soon as possible,” said Mhaisekar.
Alert issued to residents along Pavana river
An alert has been issued to residents along the Pavana river, as more water is set to be released for the Pavana dam. The dam is full to 96.62 per cent of its storage capacity, and from 6 pm on Saturday to 6 am on Sunday, it has received 82 mm rainfall.
The release of water began at 7 am on Sunday, and 6,200 cusecs of water is set to be let out over the day.