Forest dept to clear loose rocks from Sinhagad ghat

Focus Is On 5 Areas Prone To Landslips
Sunday’s landslide in the ghat section leading up to Sinhagad fort has prompted the state S forest department to s remove loose boulders from at least five more landslide-prone spots in the nine-km ghat.These were the immediate measures to avert more instances of landslides during the two remaining monsoon months.

Sunday’s landslide has forced the department to close the ghat road for vehicles for the next few days.The department’s officials said the work has been taken up on a war footing at the landslide-prone spots.

The ghat may be reopened by this weekend.

“We said the ghat will be closed for seven days but we will attempt to open the road before the deadline. We are receiving requests from visitors every day wanting to travel up the ghat. As of now, we have rejected any such queries considering the safety aspect,“ officials in the state forest department said.

They clarified that the road is closed for work to be completed without impedi ments. The department has pressed earthmovers and a team of workers to speed up the clearing, officials ad ded.

A tragedy was averted on Sunday when loose boul ders rolled down the road af ter heavy showers.

Visitors to the fort remo ved the boulders to clear the road for vehicles. The fort attracts hordes of tourists in the monsoon. Officials said the clea ring work from five spots was a temporary measure and the long-term solution of fixing of nets should be taken up.

The Public Works Department has delayed fixing the nets for more than a year citing technical reasons.

The delay has pushed the forest department to look for options. The department recently approached Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for agencies that have installed safety nets in the ghat section on PuneMumbai expressway.

“We will approach these agencies about a survey of Sinhagad ghat and provide their suggestions about fixing the nets,“ officials said.

If PWD fails to execute the project, the forest department will approach the state government to seek further clearances for appointment of an agency to put up the safety nets.

Source : TOI