Heated up Mumbai-Pune Expressway Causes Travel Disruptions 

Heated up Mumbai-Pune Expressway Causes Travel Disruptions

Heated up Mumbai-Pune Expressway Causes Travel Disruptions

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Due to sweltering heat waves sweeping up almost all corners of the country, people face hurdles while travelling.

9 May 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari

In addition to causing inconvenience for commuters on their way to work, the extreme heatwave that is sweeping the state is also upsetting the plans of families and friends who intend to spend their vacations in Pune, Sangli, Satara and the Konkan region.

Traffic bottlenecks on the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway are being caused by heat-related breakdowns of both cars and large vehicles, according to reports from the highway police. The Maharashtra State Highway Police assert that in April alone, there were about 211 vehicle breakdowns on the ghat portion, mostly involving cars during the day and large vehicles at night.

According to a police officer, data showed that 211 cars broke down in April. This was usually when driving close to the Lonavala side of the expressway or on the Bhor ghat; he explained how cars accelerate faster as they go up the ghat, which finally causes them to overheat and break down. He also said that it has been realised over the past few days that these breakdowns not only cause traffic halts but also cause everyday congestion along the ghat portion.

Additionally, due to a short circuit, two cars, a bus and an Ertiga had caught fire, causing serious damage. Without any reported injuries, the fire department, residents, traffic police and highway police had assisted in removing the automobiles. But because the incident occurred on a busy road, travellers had become alarmed, as per reports by the police official. 

The highway police report that on weekdays, the number of cars and heavy vehicles travelling along the highway is usually between 35,000 and 40,000. On weekends, though, the number of cars on the expressway and ghat soars to 50,000 to 60,000. It is not only cars going to Pune, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur using this route. Most travellers heading into the Konkan, particularly Ratnagiri and surrounding areas, choose this route. As a state highway, it also provides access for cars travelling to Karnataka and other southern regions, which adds to the volume of traffic.

The state highway police makes constant efforts to inform commuters about vehicle overheating, according to Tanaji Chikhale, superintendent of Raigad State Highway Police. He added that the Indian Reserve Battalion has given them a crane and towing van to tackle the issue of breakdowns, but it is time-consuming on account of traffic jams on the highway.