Mumbai-Pune Expressway to have special lane for vehicles part of Ganesh festival
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked officials to establish a separate lane for vehicles on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway that are part of Ganesh which begins from later this week. The 94.5 km long expressway is one of the busiest highways in the country and handles around 60,000 vehicles each day, a figure that tends to rise during the festive period.
With Ganesh Chaturthi beginning from this Wednesday, it is expected that the flow of traffic on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will once again increase by a significant margin. As such, CM Shinde visited the Khalapur toll plaza to assess the level of preparedness. While a separate lane for vehicles part of the Ganesh festivities may ease congestion, he also directed that more officials be deployed at all toll plazas on the stretch to ensure there are no congestion here.
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Just last week, the Maharashtra state government had announced plans of expanding the six-lane expressway to eight lanes in order to improve traffic management and reduce the number of accidents. According to an HT report, the expressway has seen 337 accidents which have caused around 400 deaths in the four years since 2018. Apart from several factors, one major reason for the rising number of incidents here is the sheer volume of traffic that has been steadily increasing since 2018. Human error and lack of proper driving etiquettes are some of the other factors.
There is also an increased focus on providing quicker emergency service with deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis informing the state assembly that a work order has been issued by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for an Intelligent Traffic Management System.
Meanwhile, the state government has waived off toll on Mumbai-Bengaluru and Mumbai-Goa highways between August 27 and September 11 as part of Ganesh festivities and to ensure a seamless movement of devotees from various parts of the state.
(With ANI inputs)