PUNE: Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari announced his aim to make Maharashtra a railway crossing-free state in the coming days. Gadkari was present via videoconferencing at a ceremony to inaugurate nine railway road-over-bridges (ROBs) and break ground on 11 new ROBs and railway road-under-bridges (RUBs) organised by the Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation (MRIDC or MahaRail) at police ground in Shivajinagar on Sunday.
Gadkari said, “The central government has given funds to the state government to construct ROBs. To avoid accidents at railway crossings, it is necessary to construct ROBs. Our ministry has undertaken the work to construct ROBs under the ‘Setu Bandhan’ programme to make all national highways free of railway crossings.”
“In this mission, our ministry has decided to make Maharashtra free of railway crossings. We have planned a total of 91 ROBs across the state. In the first phase, we will complete 25 ROBs while we plan to construct the remaining 66 ROBs in the second phase,” Gadkari said.
The ceremony was chaired by chief minister Eknath Shinde. Pune district guardian minister Chandrakant Patil and MRIDC managing director Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal were also present on the occasion.
Shinde said, “The inauguration of nine flyover works clearly shows what is possible when the central and state governments work together. Due to the lack of gates at railway crossings, accidents occur and people die. To speed up the ROB work, the chief minister formed the MRIDC. Now, work will be completed speedily. This is the first time that we have inaugurated nine flyovers and laid down the foundation of 11 ROBs.”
Shinde said, “Chandni Chowk was also facing traffic problems. Now, the problems have started resolving. The final work is going on. We requested union minister Gadkari to support us to develop a flyover from Katraj Chowk to Khadi Machine Chowk to resolve traffic problems. People are facing traffic problems on the 15 kilometres stretch from Katraj Chowk to Khadi Machine Chowk.”
Shinde further said, “Even a missing link near Wai in Satara will be built, which will help promote tourism in Mahabaleshwar.”