Mumbai-Pune Expressway
Mumbai-Pune Expressway

Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has sought permission from the state highway police to use camera drones for a week, at the Mumbai-Pune expressway project site, said a senior official. "The camera drones will capture live footage of the ongoing augmentation work, which will be monitored at the head office located in Bandra Reclamation and help us meet the deadline," said the official.

The authority has also obtained permission to fell trees for this project. "With all clearances in place, work is on in full swing, even in the forest areas. The felling of trees was started some days ago," according to the official. For the augmentation of the Mumbai-Pune expressway, about 8,317 trees are being cut.

The augmentation of the Mumbai-Pune expressway was necessitated following heavy traffic and landslides being reported in the Khandala Ghat section, especially during the rainy season.

The Free Press Journal had earlier reported, authorities had received approval from the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF&CC), to fell 7,813 trees in Alibaug and 504 trees in Pune, spread over 83.44 hectares of forest area for this project. In lieu of this ecological damage, the MSRDC will plant around 40,000 trees on vacant land adjoining the expressway and maintain these trees for five years and 83.44 hectares of land in Jalna will be transferred to the state.

The augmentation plan involves the construction of two bridges, connected through viaducts and two new tunnels. Once the link is complete, the distance will be cut by six kilometres. The project was sanctioned in 2017 and is being undertaken by Afcons Infrastructure and the Hyderabad-based Navyuga Engineering.

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