National Highway 4 (NH4), which connects Mumbai and Bengaluru via Kolhapur, might reopen for traffic on Monday, five days after it was closed down for traffic due to floods in Kolhapur and Sangli districts in western Maharashtra. According to a senior police officer, the flood water accumulated on the highway has started to recede.
Thousands of heavy vehicles have been stranded on the highway since Tuesday due to heavy water-logging. "The water on the highway started receding by six inches to one foot since Saturday night. There is still 3-3.5 feet water on the highway," the officer said on Sunday.
The water level might come down further by Monday, following which the traffic might be allowed on the highway, said Kolhapur superintendent of police, Abhinav Deshmukh. He said the future course of action depends upon the ground situation.
Deshmukh said relief work and emergency services are being provided by boats in the flood-hit districts. The SP said the officials had tested the water situation on the highway at Sangli diversion by sending a water tanker along with a poclain machine but found it unsafe as of now.
Unprecedented floods in the western Maharashtra districts were triggered by the release of a large amount of water from various dams coupled with heavy rains. Apart from Sangli and Kolhapur, districts of Pune, Satara and Solapur were also affected. The death toll due to floods stood at 40.
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