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Mahatma Gandhi expressway in a bad shape

State assesses losses as rains subside

Piyush Pandey  |  Ahmedabad 

The Ahmedabad-Vadodara expressway, a mega project of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), named after Mahatma Gandhi has bore the brunt of the torrential rains. NHAI is assessing the damage caused to the Rs 550-crore project.
The project, inaugurated in August last year, is in bad shape with several cave-ins and potholes. Several metres of the 93.4 kilometre expressway have been washed off in some places.
"We are ascertaining the extent of damage. Our first objective is to sort out the traffic congestion and help in rescue operations at the expressway. These were not ordinary rains. It is flood and one can not provide guarantee for a natural calamity of this magnitude," said Vibhav Mittal, project director of the Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway.
The cut off at the Mathama Gandhi National Expressway has disrupted the rescue operations by the army and other agencies as the expressway was instrumental in routes leading to the flood affected districts in central Gujarat like Khada, Nadiad, Anand and Vadodara district.
"We have been facing difficulty in rescue operations as the express way and National Highway - Eight (NH-8) and other routes leading to the flood affected areas. We are having problem in sending reinforcements to the flood affected areas of Khada, Nadiad, Anand and Vadodara. We had to airlift the boats into Vadodara airfield from Bangalore " said Tejinder Singh, General Officer in Commanding (GoC), Golden Katar Division.
"This expressway, which has brought cheers to many has become curse to us, because the rain water in our village could not recede," said, Ishwarbhai, sarpanch of the Vansor village in Kheda district of Gujarat, which had been submerged in the flood waters for about three days.
The National Expressway number - one (NE-1), first one to be constructed by the NHAI, a part of Golden Quadrilateral project was constructed at a total project cost of Rs 550 crore.

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First Published: Tue, July 05 2005. 00:00 IST
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