Somatane, 21st November 2023: Concerns have risen over unauthorized access roads created by breaking through compounds along the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, potentially elevating the risk of accidents. After the completion of the expressway in 1998, designated access routes were established at Kiwale, Somatane, Urse, Kusgaon, Khandala, and other locations within Pune district limits to facilitate passenger traffic. To prevent vehicles from entering unauthorized areas, iron guard walls were installed along the entire 94 km stretch by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited.
However, in recent days, some local motorists have taken it upon themselves to breach these protective walls, creating access points that allow vehicles to enter the expressway. This unauthorized entry not only undermines toll collection efforts but also poses a serious threat to road safety.
The breach in the protective walls has led to an increase in the number of vehicles using these unauthorized access points, heightening the risk of accidents. Local driver Suresh Mane expressed concern, stating, “It is very dangerous if wild animals suddenly enter through the broken rock at night or vehicles are entered, which can lead to accidents.”
Rakesh Sonawane, executive engineer of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited, reassured that measures are in place to prevent wildlife from entering the road. He mentioned that the protective walls along the entire 94-km stretch are regularly repaired. Responding to the situation, citizens in Somatne have demanded the immediate closure of the broken walls to mitigate the risk associated with these unauthorized access points.