MSRTC studies risky roads, to resume all bus services for now

Operations on three routes were suspended due to heavy rain and landslides
After heavy rains for the past one week, traffic movement on the highways and in remote areas across Pune district has slowed down. Learning from the tragic incident at Mahad, where a British-era bridge got washed away, incurring over 20 casualties, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation’s (MSRTC) Pune division has started taking precautionary measures to avoid mishaps.Three major routes under the division -Panshet, Velha and Malshej Ghat -were closed for ST bus operations for the last five days, being prone to landslides. With the rain having let up somewhat, an inspection of the routes was conducted on Wednesday, after which bus operations were to resume.On August 3, there were various incidents of landslides at Malshej Ghat and Varandha Ghat near Bhor, as well as the road going towards Lavasa. Due to continuous rain, boulders and mud came down on to the road, leading to it being shut for traffic.

“We stopped our ST bus operations towards Malshej Ghat, Panshet and Velha Taluka due to rain and subsequent landslides. We didn’t want to risk our passengers’ lives. On Wednesday, our depot managers inspected the routes and confirmed that there is no problem. Operations will resume shortly,“ said MSRTC’s Pune divisional controller Nitin Maind. He added, “We are also checking for accident-prone bridges or roads through our drivers on the route, which may be risky, not only for ST buses but all vehicles. For now, we will start regular bus operations all around Pune division. But, if the landslides and heavy rain continues, we will have to stop them again.“ From all three main ST stands in Pune -Swargate, Shivajinagar and Pune railway station -over 5,000 buses operate on various routes to Kolhapur, Nashik, Solapur and other parts of the state.Of late, traffic had been diverted at Malshej Ghat, Velha and some parts of the Panshet Road.

Narayan Shivane, a resident of Panshet, said, “Panshet and its nearby areas have seen heavy rain for the last ten days, so vehicles were stopped from coming here. However, many people from nearby villages go to Pune for their daily work by ST buses.With the bus service suspended, we had to miss work. Now, as the rain has slowed down, we hope that buses will start running again.“

Kisan Bagade, a resident of Velha taluka told Mirror, “Velha has become a tourist spot as the Torna Fort is nearby. The monsoon, too, attracts people to this spot. But, with several landslides occurring last week, ST buses and other vehicles were not able to get here.“

Source : Mirror