Aurangabad May 27 (PTI) The work of widening the Aurangabad-Ajanta-Jalgaon highway in Maharashtra, which has got affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting manpower crunch, is likely to get over by the end of this year, an official said on Thursday.
The coronavirus situation led to the delay in the work and getting clearances from various government agencies, he said.
'The delay in the work of converting the 150-km long highway into a four-lane road has impacted the tourist footfall at the world heritage site of Ajanta. Earlier, there was an issue about contractors, then the coronavirus-induced lockdown and then the restrictions delayed this four-laning work,' the official said.
Due to the pandemic, the number of labourers has gone down by nearly 30 per cent, he said.
Talking to PTI, Superintendent Engineer of PWD (national highway) Prashant Auti said, 'We have completed the work of 110-km long stretch of the road so far and the work of 20 km long road would be carried out without any hurdle.' 'We are facing some problems with 20-km long road as there are some land-related issues. The revenue officials are deployed for the coronavirus duty, which is why it is a little pending,' he added.
The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation should help us in removing encroachments in the project area, he said.
'We can complete the road widening work by November this year,' he said, adding that the time needed to cover the distance of 150-km road would take at least 180 minutes, which will now be curtailed by nearly 130 minutes once the project is complete. PTI AW NP NP