Published On : Mon, Oct 12th, 2020

Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi: Mumbai-Nagpur corridor to have ‘Charkha’ bridge

As a grand tribute to the ‘father of the nation’ – Mahatma Gandhi – Maharashtra’s most ambitious project – the 701-kilometre Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi corridor will also have a bridge designed as a ‘Charkha’ or a spinning wheel that became a symbol representing ‘swadeshi’ or self-sufficiency.

Being built on a river, the 315-meter bridge will be the entry point to Wardha district, well-known for the Sevagram Ashram from where Gandhi led the nation for 12 years till Independence. Mahatma Gandhi initiated the Swadeshi movement by taking up the charkha and encouraging fellow countrymen to weave their clothes instead of buying foreign goods.

The bridge will have three wheels as part of its design. The two bigger rings will be 40 metres in diameter and the smaller ones will be of 16-metre diameter. The iconic six-lane bridge, with two service lanes, will also be crossing over Wardha river.

Deep Dey, director, DesignFakt India Pvt Ltd which has designed the bridge, said, “We picked themes that further India’s vision as a growing superpower. The Charkha represents the ‘Make in India’ concept and is also a symbolic identity of Wardha.”

According to officials, the detailed designing of the bridge is done and the construction work will also resume soon. The entire 701-kilometre corridor is expected to be functional by May 1, 2022. The Rs 55,000 crore ambitious expressway will connect 10 districts, 26 talukas and 392 villages between the state’s first and second capital – Mumbai and Nagpur.

Radheshyam Mopalwar, vice chairman and managing director of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is executing the project, said, “Apart from being one the most challenging projects, the Samruddhi corridor is also one the most aesthetically designed projects.”

Of the 33 major bridges that are being built along the corridor, five bridges at Wardha, Buldhana, Nashik, Thane and Nagpur will have iconic designs.

The designs under consideration for the bridge in Buldhana is to showcase a bird representing women empowerment. In Nashik, known for its rich history, the bridge will be designed with hands showcasing ‘tarpana’, a Hindu practice of making offerings to the Lord, and in Nagpur, the bridge is likely to be in the form of a tiger to promote the movement ‘save the tiger.’ However, apart from Wardha, the designs for the four other bridges are still under-consideration.