The National Highways Authority of India, Nashik division, has started pothole repairs on the Nashik-Bhiwandi stretch of Nashik-Mumbai national highway.
“We have deployed six teams and machinery along the stretch. They will be filling the potholes to ensure the road is safe and motorable during the monsoon,” said a senior officer of the Nashik division of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The section between Nashik and Thane, the stretch just above the Kasara ghat in Igatpuri, and the entire section of the highway passing through Shahapur and Thane talukas have been in a deplorable state. Traffic here is forced to move at a snail’s pace and accidents are common.
It may be noted that opposition members had raised the issue of bad roads and traffic jams on this stretch in the assembly. Balasaheb Thorat, the senior Congress leader from Sangamner, had said even two NCP ministers — Chhagan Bhujbal and Anil Patil — who are from north Maharashtra would have criticised the government on the issue had they not been a part of the government.
The NHAI officials said measures being taken to fill up the potholes include the water-bound macadam (WBM) process, cold mix, and jet patches. “These processes are used when the conditions are wet. We will, however, use hot mix over the potholes and give them a better rolling as soon as the rains take a break,” the officer said.
The officer added that at times when none of the above measures can help, the department uses paver blocks as temporary measures. This has been condemned by motorists as well as NGOs.
“Paver blocks are dangerous for all vehicles. They provide an uneven surface and can also damage the tyres of speeding vehicles,” said Abhay Kulkarni, the chairman of Nashik First – a Traffic Education Park in Nashik.