Nagpur: As the second phase of much talked about Ram Jhula, the cable laden overbridge near Nagpur railway station, is gradually picking up pace, the demolition of existing age old railway over bridge appears to be herculean task. The authorities are now set to demolish the age old railway over bridge which has been serving as the connecting point from CA road to KP ground for generations.
However the Railways had initially demanded total charges of Rs 11 crores. Later the Commissioner of Railway Safety had put some obstacles. Moreover, Traffic Department had some objections to the dismantling of the bridge. The MSRDC had overcome all these obstacles and after convincing every government body, the dismantling was agreed upon. The actual work was contracted to AFCONS this time too. However, sources said that AFCONS authorities have claimed that their heavy-duty cranes are under repair and will take time for it to be put into action.
A second phase of Ram Jhula is proposed to be constructed adjacent to the existing erection after demolishing the old-bridge in stages. A stone and concrete bridge was constructed by the erstwhile British officers stationed in Nagpur then called as Nagpore to pass over the railway lines of Great Indian Peninsular Railway.
This bridge which connected the old Nagpur and the new Nagpur was supposedly constructed in 1927. It is 88 years now and the bridge has lived its life. A few years ago, South Eastern Central Railway (SECR) and the Nagpur Municipal Corporation received a letter from the British Company which had constructed the bridge years ago. The officials of the company informed the Civic authorities and the railways that the bridge’s guaranteed service is over and that the local civic authorities should stop heavy vehicles plying over the bridge. They had also supplied certain specifications about the cold-twisted iron bars and the concrete to be used by the local civic authorities if at all they decide to repair it.
However, after this letter, the local civic authorities did stop heavy vehicles plying over the bridge. Then they decided to construct a modern bridge that is sustained by cables.
The Design and Construction of six-lane Cable Stayed Bridge along with approaches including dismantling of existing in Nagpur Railway Station Yard (Railway Kilometer 835/48-837/2) is undertaken by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). The New Ram Jhula will be of 606.700 meters long just like the existing one and is constructed adjacent to the other.
According to a senior Engineer of MSRDC, the demolition of the old bridge will be done in parts where a portion of the bridge (in the centre) will be cut-off with a diamond-bit cutter or chain saws and after tying the piece with strong iron cables will be transported intact to the Santra Market side and kept there. Two new major and biggest Pylon (of the Ram Jhula) will be constructed on the site immediately. The remaining portions will be left intact so that vehicles and personnel ferrying goods and working on the pylons can reach the Pylons easily without having to cross the railway lines. The remaining portion of the bridge too will be dismantled in a similar fashion.