Sinhagad ghat road opens, safety net not yet installed

PWD Awaits Report From IIT Experts
The section of the ghat road leading to the famous Sinhagad fort has finally been thrown open to bigger vehicles by the Sinhagad Vikas Van Samiti. This is because ongoing work -of fixing safety nets -is in its last stage.Over the past few months, the Public Works Department (PWD) has been installing safety nets at landslideprone spots in the ghat.

Officials said works relating to drilling and bolting had recently been completed, and only a safety mesh needed to be fixed at the earmarked spots. However, the consignment of mesh was expected to arrive only after November 15. Members of the Sinhagad kas Van Samiti said since Vikas Van Samiti said since the drilling and bolting works were over, and the mesh would take more time to come, a decision to allow vehicles on the ghat road was taken. Motorists going to the Sinhagad fort are unlikely to face any hurdles as the PWD has removed all the machinery being used for drilling and bolting works, said the Van Samiti members PWD said the mesh installation works may take about two-to-three days. The mesh will be fixed by experts who will also conduct some basic tests to ensure that mesh is able to properly stop loose boulders from rolling down.

Though the ghat was officially closed for over three months, there have been reports of some visitors using the road to reach the fort de spite an official ban. Sources said the demand to open the road was raised by local vendors and stall owners at the fort, who claimed that the road’s closure was adversely affecting their businesses.

Sudam Dimble, a local resident, said he held the administration responsible for the delay in the completion of works. He said that in spite of knowing that the ghat area was prone to landslides, the administration has done nothing to address the problem for many years. This had led to increase in the instances of landslide, he said.

The issue of safety on the ghat road was raised in the state assembly during the monsoon session. The state government had then asked the PWD to conduct a survey of entire ghat stretch. The PWD officials said that experts from the IIT-Powai had surveyed the ghat, and a detailed report on recommendations was expected in next few days.

Public amenities expected

Besides installation of a safety mesh, regular visitors can also expect the authorities to provide public services at the fort, including provision of toilets, dustbins, information boards etc.

Ravi Satkar, a regular visitor to the fort, said despite a ban on plastic, the fort has been battling plastic waste. Visitors should either avoid use of plastics on the fort or should at least dispose them properly, he said.

Views on protection

The PWD will prepare a detailed report on safety of the ghat based on the observations of a expert team from IIT-Powai. The report will go before the state government for further recommendation and allotment of funds to implement the measures.

Source : TOI