National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday pledged to complete the ingress point project on Mumbai-Agra highway near hotel Seven Heaven within six months.
The TOI had in its February 24 edition reported how motorists were using the puncture at the ingress point to take the highway towards the Mumbai direction or taking the service road from it in the absence of safety arrangements.
Senior NHAI officials, who did not wish to be quoted, said the project will be completed on the engineering procurement and construction (EPS) basis. An official said the contract of the company that had constructed the 60-km stretch of the highway from Pimpalgaon to Gonde was terminated in February last year.
“As a result, the additional work taken up by the company for the convenience of motorists was left incomplete. The NHAI will finish it now on the the EPS basis, which is a contract arrangement to make all responsible for activities from designing, procuring, constructing to commissioning and handing over of the project to end user or owners,” the official said.
The ingress point is under construction for more than three years. In the absence of the ingress point, the motorists who cannot take the highway from Indiranagar have to drive for nearly 5km to take it.
In the meantime, some motorists have removed the concrete slab that blocked the incomplete ingress point and are using the puncture to take the highway. The highway, passing through Nashik city, is more of an elevated structure of about 12km comprising flyovers and underpasses, which descend to the ground level in three spots. Thus the speed of vehicles using the elevated structure is extremely high, considering that there is no obstruction to the vehicles.
The puncture of the incomplete ingress point used by motorists could prove risky as vehicles simply enter the highway, which catch the motorists on highway unawares. At the same time, many motorists who take the service road from the highway also disturb the traffic on the service road.
Four years ago, the widened stretch of the NH-3 passing through the city was thrown open after the completion of the elevated corridor. The widened stretch of the highway has quite a few flyovers, underpasses and bridges between Garware point and Adgaon naka to ensure there is no hindrance to traffic.
On completion of the highway, it was noticed that while the rush on service roads along the highway was heavy, the six-lane highway was hardly being used by motorists. If a motorist from the city has to take the Mumbai-Agra highway to go towards Pimpalgaon, Dhule and other places, the only access point were at Dwarka and Mumbai Naka, so a large number of motorists, mainly heavy trucks coming from the Ambad industrial area, had to ply through the service road for nearly five to six km to reach Mumbai Naka or Dwarka to access the highway.
Keeping all this in mind, an ingress point was created near Gabriel Company about three years back and opened for motorists. While the problem of motorists (on the stretch between Mumbai Naka and Garware point) of accessing the highway towards Dhule was solved, the problem of motorists towards Mumbai on the other side of the highway is pending. DeShone Kizer Jersey