Gadkari was speaking virtually from Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh during a function organised to initiate the breakthrough of the second of the twin tunnels on the Khambatki ghat section connecting Pune and Satara. The new twin tunnels have three lanes each and will help reduce time, accidents and also distance.
The new twin tunnel has three lanes each and will help reduce travel time
Gadkari also mentioned about the proposed work of Satara to Kagal stretch of the national highway which is of immense importance for south Maharashtra region. The project cost is around Rs 4,000 crore and the tender process has been postponed twice.
“The tender for build-operate-transfer (BOT) project of Satara to Kagal six-laning work has been issued. I am hopeful that the work will commence in 30-45 days,” said Gadkari.
The existing Khambatki ghat one-way tunnel was completed in 1995 when Gadkari was road minister in Maharashtra government. Though the one-way tunnel addressed the issue of traffic congestion to some extent, it did not address other issues like saving time and reducing accidents. “The local representatives were complaining about various issues on the Pune-Satara stretch. The twin tunnel will help reduce the traffic congestion. Around 96% work has been completed and soon the roads will be built and the tunnel will be opened for traffic in next three months,” Gadkari said, adding that the old one-way tunnel will no longer be used.
Gadkari said he was stuck at Khambatki ghat for seven hours when he was a minister in the state government. This prompted Gadkari to take up the work to build tunnel.