While most of the internal roads are well maintained in Navi Mumbai, driving along highways is a nightmare, says most of the residents. The reason is the ongoing road widening work and potholes developed during the monsoon.
Whether it is Belapur-Uran highway or the Sion-Panvel highway, motorists have tough time while negotiating with potholes and uneven roads.
Residents who use these highways everyday say that couple of stretches is extremely in bad condition and driving vehicles is not safe. Sunil Ramakrishnan who resides in Ulwe, a newly developed node in Navi Mumbai says that driving along the Belapur-Uran road is dangerous especially in night because of the incomplete works and rough surfaces developed during the monsoon. “The road widening work has been going on in this stretch for four years, and there are flyovers and small bridges that are still incomplete, posing threat for motorists,” said Ramakrishnan.
Rajeev Mishra, a social activist says that there are multiple agencies that maintain roads in Navi Mumbai. Unfortunately, there is not a single road where craters have not developed soon after they were repaired in the recent past. “The Sheel-Phata Kalyan road, Airoli-Mulund road or the Uran road, the problem is same. Most of the roads have developed crack or crater during the monsoon,” said Mishra, adding that there are no quality checks when roads are repaired.
Even former commissioner of police of Navi Mumbai Sanjay Kumar shared his experience of slow traffic on a social media platform. He tweeted: “Commuting 30 kms in two hours at speed of 15 km / hour can’t make a city smart. All the agencies required to wake up and do something to make it smooth and moving. Four hour a day, 100 hours in a month and 50 days in a year just commuting for work? Painful.”
Bad patches especially potholes are one of the main reasons for slow traffic. It can be seen on Sundays in Nerul along the Sion-Panvel highway. Traffic congestion is a common sight on Sundays when people come back to the city, mostly from Pune after a weekend break. “The stretch near Nerul witness a long traffic jam on every weekend and it takes almost an hour to clear for traffic cops. Unfortunately, the stretch develops potholes soon after it was repaired,” said Mishra.