Shiradi, Jan 23, 2017: Even nearly a month after learning that the Shiradi Ghat reconstruction Package 2 would not be taken up before monsoons, NHAI, National Highways Division of the Public Works Department is yet to restore the battered 13-km stretch of the ghat to make it motorable. The stretch between Gundya and Kempu Hole guest house, which was to be concreted, did not undergo regular maintenance after the last monsoon in anticipation of the reconstruction work.
Another 13-km stretch from Kempu Hole guest house to Heggadde was concreted in 2015. Consequently, the road is filled with craters and potholes making the drive highly unpleasant. The regular road users has repeatedly been urging the government to make the road motorable as small vehicles find it difficult to negotiate the stretch. The department cancelled the tender after the successful bidder, GVR Infra Projects Pvt. Ltd., failed to mobilise the required material and start the work even 13 months after being given the work order. The work order was issued in November 2015.
After the cancellation, the department has to make a fresh estimate for the project and get it approved by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways before calling for fresh tenders. As such, reconstruction work—concreting the remaining 13-km stretch and relaying bitumen on 21-km stretch between Gulagale and Heggadde—could be taken up only after the coming monsoon. A senior official of the department, however, said that the restoration work of the battered road would be taken up. The official said the department is aware of the difficulties faced by motorists and the work would commence.