Almost two years after repair work on Mangi Bridge — that connects Red Fort and Salimgarh on the Ring Road — was taken up, the structure remains incomplete.
The arches located on the lower side of the bridge were damaged in 2009 due to constant scratching by the tops of the vehicles plying on the ring road below.
After much debate over its ownership, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) finally ‘adopted’ the bridge built by the British and started the repair work in 2010. The ASI had ambitiously announced that the work would be completed in one month.
Experts from IIT-Delhi were roped in and ‘zero abrasion’ method was applied to repair the structure. The private firm which took over the repair work appointed three British experts, who used ‘anchoring and stitching method’ with diamond cutters to drill stainless steel wires at crucial points in the interior of the broken arches.
“However, soon it was clear that the repaired arches would be damaged again if the road is not lowered suitably,” said sources. This prompted the ASI to contact the public works department (PWD), which maintains the ring road.
There are three carriageways below the bridge and the problem lies with the central carriageway and the one towards the Salimgarh side. “There are pipelines below the carriageway on the Salimgarh side. Also, due to heavy traffic, work for lowering of the road can be taken up on only one carriageway at a time,” sources said.
However, almost two years later, the steel wires remain exposed, increasing the possibility of more damage.
“We have deposited R2 crore with the PWD,” said Dr BR Mani, ASI’s spokesperson.
PWD officials said, “There were some technical problems. (But) we are going to issue tenders for the work next week. Work for lowering central carriageway would be taken up first.”