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Centre Okays ₹793cr To Widen Dive Ghat-hadapsar Stretch, Infra News, ET Infra


PUNE: Union minister of road transport and highways (MORTH) Nitin Gadkari has sanctioned Rs 792.39 crore for the road expansion work of the 13.25 km stretch of the palkhi route from Dive Ghat to Hadapsar on the National Highway 965.

Welcoming the announcement, the warkaris said that the government should aim to complete the work before next year’s Ashadhi Ekadashi. The stretch from Dive Ghat to Hadapsar falls under the Mohol-Alandi section of the National Highway, which is currently two-lane wide. The Centre has sanctioned funds for converting the existing two-lane stretch into four-lane one.

According to the ministry, the road widening work will be carried out on hybrid annuity model.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone in November 2019 for the palkhi routes for Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj palkhi from Alandi and Sant Tukaram Maharaj palkhi from Dehu to Pandharpur during the Ashadhi Wari.

“The four-laning of the road will reduce traffic problems in Hadapsar and Dive ghat section. It will also help in easy movement of the warkaris during the Ashadhi Wari , when nearly 10 lakh warkaris walk with the Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj palkhi. It will also aid in vehicular movement on that stretch as well,” Gadkari posted a message on his social media platform X (formerly Twitter). Earlier this month, a warkari was killed and five others were injured when a pickup vehicle hit them near Daundaj Khind on Pune-Solapur road. The incident occurred when they were drinking water from a tanker.

A day after the accident, four warkaris were killed on the Pune-Nashik highway when they were heading towards Alandi. A group of approximately 175 warkaris were proceeding on foot from Shirdi to Alandi.

When they were at the Nandurkhandarmal, a truck, loaded with empty cardboard boxes, rammed the group killing four and leaving eight others injured.

Chief minister Eknath Shinde recently announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased in the winter session of the assembly recently.

After the ministry’s announcement of the allotment of funds, the warkaris said that the widening of the Palkhi route will reduce such mishaps.

Speaking to TOI, Vikas Dhage, one of the trustees of the Shree Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi committee, said, “We welcome the Centre’s decision to allot more funds for the palkhi route. It will also ensure safe passage for the warkaris during the pilgrimage.”

Dhage demanded that the government complete the land acquisition process at the earliest for the four-laning of the highway.

“Most of the work has been completed in Solapur and Satara districts but the work in Pune district is still incomplete due to the pending land acquisition issue. The government should acquire the land and aim to finish the widening work of the highway before next year’s Ashadhi Wari,” he said.

  • Published On Dec 15, 2023 at 05:05 PM IST

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