Published On : Tue, Apr 2nd, 2024

Relief: Panchsheel Square Bridge all set to partially open for traffic from Apr 2

Rebuilt within a record time of six months as per new construction standards

Nagpur: Unlike several other bridge projects in Nagpur that have been languishing for a couple of years, the authorities here are all set to open one part of the Panchsheel Square bridge for vehicular traffic on April 2 after completing the construction in a record time of about six months.

The bridge, located in the heart of Nagpur, had collapsed on September 23 last year after heavy rains lashed the city leaving it flooded. Interestingly, the authorities took more than three years to construct the University Library Square Bridge, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Panchsheel Square bridge on the Nag River. Apart from this, there are other bridges too, where the authorities are still struggling to meet the deadlines.

However, in the case of the Panchsheel Square bridge, the National Highway unit of the Public Works Department (PWD) swung into action as soon as the nearly century-old bridge collapsed and rebuilt a four-lane wide bridge as per new construction standards. Even otherwise, the pillars of the bridge were degrading as the pressure due to increasing volume of traffic and increase in tonnage was causing the piers to degrade. The flash floods dealt a body blow and enabled PWD authorities to go for the construction of the entire bridge as any piecemeal job would have only added to the problems in future.

The old slab on the river was demolished and the entire earthwork was done by excavating either side of the Wardha Road portion, so that pillars can be constructed deep into the ground. The work was carried out day and night as the crucial road link from Panchsheel Square to Jhansi Rani Square remained closed for vehicular traffic and also for pedestrians. The effect of closure was felt on the adjoining Dhantoli locality where traffic jams were the order of the day.

Even operations of city buses were severely affected as accessibility to Mor Bhavan, the central terminus, was cut off. And plying of buses started from near Gujarati Bhavan. Commuters faced difficulty as they could not cross the bridge to reach the other side of the road. The business on the stretch grinded to halt leaving shopkeepers helpless. It was a double blow for the traders as they had faced severe losses in the aftermath of flash floods in Nag River that led to submergence of Sitabuldi portion of city.

Meanwhile, work on another stretch from Rani Jhansi Square to Panchsheel Square would take one or two weeks more as some portion of the newly-laid road remains to be completed. A pipeline there collapsed resulting in further delay in opening the entire four-lane bridge. The opening of even one section of bridge will offer great respite to citizens.