Against the backdrop of increasing potholes on the Nashik-Mumbai Highway, the Nashik Citizens’ Forum (NCF) has knocked on the High Court’s doors seeking a stay on toll collection on the highway. Potholes form every monsoon on the Nashik-Mumbai highway, the worn-out road in Kasara Ghat and the heavy traffic jams that always occur between Vadape and Thane. The Forum has filed an interim application in the High Court with various pieces of evidence to revive the 2015 petition in this regard.
During this monsoon, the condition of this highway became very bad. In fact, even before that, there was a clamour over the issue of potholes. Every year at the beginning of the monsoon, this highway is filled with potholes.
The roads in Kasara Ghat are also frequently flooded. On one hand, urbanisation is increasing in the Thane-Bhiwandi area and on the other hand, this area has also developed as a warehouse hub.The four-lane road from Vadape to Thane has always suffered from traffic jams due to the huge number of vehicles coming from all three directions i.e. Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Ghodbandar.
The contractor abandoned this highway widening project after wasting two years. So this problem has become worse. Now an authorized body of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation has taken up this work. However, it will take about two years to complete. Due to all these factors, the Nashik-Mumbai journey has become very challenging, unfortunately, the toll collection continues. Due to this, the citizens have to suffer from mental stress.
The media, public representatives, and citizens have consistently raised their voices against it on various platforms. The Nashik Citizens’ Forum had also drawn the attention of various officials including the Chairman of the Highways Authority (NHAI) to this issue in the month of July itself. However, instead of improving, the condition of the highway worsened. Finally, the Forum has filed an interim application to revive the petition in the High Court.
The government of Maharashtra, NHAI, the Project Director of the Authority, Mumbai-Nashik Expressway Limited, and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Infrastructure Projects Limited are the respondents in this application.