Mumbai : Another major landslide on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in the early hours of Friday slowed down traffic on the busy highway as authorities tried to clear the boulders on the road near Adoshi tunnel, near Lonavala, some 50km from Mumbai. Despite the maintenance work along the hilly ‘ghat’ sections of the Expressway to prevent landslides, this is the second landslide near Adoshi tunnel where three people died in a landslide on July 20. There were no reports of any casualties in the latest landslide.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), Geological Survey of India along with Italian firm, Maccaferri, are in efforts to secure the hilly section on the Expressway to prevent landslides.

“We are trying to remove the rock but it is a highly fractured rock. The nature of the rock is such that the moment we remove one rock, the rock behind that loosens and comes down”, said Anil Diggikar, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of MSRDC.

Diggikar added, “Experts from the Italian firm are roped in to carry our rock-bolting and install hexagonal woven steel mesh to retain them close to the hills. In addition to this, a pre-fabricated tunnel might be installed to hold the falling rocks.”

Although lanes on Expressway were closed between 12-4pm, another route was opened for traffic moving towards Mumbai from Khopoli. Traffic towards Pune, however, remained normal on Friday, but officials are expecting more traffic on the weekend.

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