Kolhapur: 30,000 heavy vehicles queue up
National highway 4 (NH4), which connects Mumbai and Bengaluru via Kolhapur, remained shut for the fourth consecutive day with heavy vehicles stuck in serpentine queues.
KOLHAPUR: National highway 4 (NH4), which connects Mumbai and Bengaluru via Kolhapur, remained shut for the fourth consecutive day with heavy vehicles stuck in serpentine queues en route at Khed Shivapur, Satara and Karad owing to the floods in western Maharashtra.
Highway superintendent of police Milind Mohite told TOI that around 30,000 heavy vehicles, mostly commercial, have been parked along dhabas, hotels and service roads from the Khed Shivapur toll naka near Shirval in Pune district to Karad in Satara district. One queue from Khed Shivapur was extending up to Nasrapur, a good 20km away. After Satara city, the highway section from Pune has been totally closed and is being used only for parking heavy vehicles.
Pune divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said nine people in Thursday’s boat capsize in Sangli were still missing. Nine bodies were found and 18 people rescued after the tragedy.
Mhaisekar said 29 people have been confirmed dead due to the floods in Pune division, of which 11 were from Sangli, seven from Satara, six from Pune, four from Kolhapur and one from Solapur.
Traffic from Mumbai and Pune has been shut from the Keni toll plaza just ahead of Karad town in Satara district for the past three days. On the other side, vehicles are not being allowed to move from Belagavi city in Karnataka into Maharashtra.
The section from Karad to Pune is being used for two-way traffic, largely to move essential goods. Heavy vehicles carrying emergency and essential goods to other parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have been diverted via the Pune-Solapur highway.
The local tehsildar’s office has been giving information to heavy vehicle drivers and other road users about the flooding and alternative travel options. “No vehicle has been caugh in water. The local administration, residents and hotels are providing food and other services to those stuck along the highways. Most of the vehicles parked on the highway were headed to Kolhapur or Karnataka,” Mohite said.
The situation in flood-hit Kolhapur and Sangli districts continued to be a cause of concern on Friday with the Panchaganga and Krishna rivers showing a marginal reduction in water levels but still flowing well above the danger mark.