End of road for two Brit-era bridges on CR

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 14 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Two bridges that are among the city's oldest landmarks will be demolished before the rains. The BMC has paid the Central Railway (CR) Rs 2.6 crore towards the cost of razing the 147-year-old Carnac Bunder and 135-year-old Hancock bridges in south Mumbai.

The CR says both the bridges will be demolished before the monsoon sets in next year. It is expected that the demolition work will start in April or May.

The razing work on both bridges will take about two months.

Though the demolition of the bridges is almost certain now, there is no unanimity on their reconstruction. The BMC and the CR remain in disagreement over the height and length of the replacement bridges that are to be built.

The BMC has been proposing the reconstruction of the two bridges, which it says are in a dilapidated condition, for the last two years.

The CR had rejected a design prepared by the BMC last month. The CR wants the BMC to redesign the bridges so that they are an extra three metres higher and extend the length by about 10 metres.

The CR wants to complete its work on power conversion from 1,500 volt DC to 25,000 volt AC, for which it wants to increase the height. The CR also plans to lay two additional lines on the east side, which is why it wants to extend the length of the two bridges.

The BMC is ready to extend the length but has locked horns with the CR over the height issue. "If there is raising of height, adjoining housing societies will face the problem of water-logging and loss of entry-exit points," additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas said.

The CR said that it will go for the tendering process in the coming week and demolition will be completed before the next monsoon.

"We have told the BMC to shift utilities like water and sewage pipelines before demolition work starts," a CR official said. "We also have to plan the schedule as the work will have to be carried out without disrupting the local timing, that is after 12.30 am. We have to block the lines for the work."

The BMC informed the traffic police about the demolition plan to arrange for diversions. The CR will now finalize its schedule for demolition and convey it to the traffic department, said a BMC official.

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