10 months after Mahad collapse, Gadkari, Fadnavis unveil new bridge on Mumbai-Goa highway
Mumbai city news: The old British-era bridge collapsed owing to strong currents on August 2mumbai Updated: Jun 05, 2017 15:16 IST
Union minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the new bridge on Mumbai-Goa highway on Monday, 10 months after the old one was swept away by the Savitri river during the monsoon.
“The Mumbai-Goa highway plays a vital role in the transport and economic sectors of both states. People from Mumbai travel to different parts of the state only via this route. That is why we prioritised the construction of the new bridge, and finished it in 10 months,” said Gadkari.
The old British-era bridge collapsed owing to strong currents on August 2. Authorities said two state transport buses and one Tavera, collectively ferrying 41 people, had been crossing the bridge at the time of the incident.
Indian Coast Guard, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Navy officials started operations a few hours after the collapse. They recovered 26 bodies, but feared that crocodiles and rock pythons had devoured the others. Operations went on for 11 days.
“The accident severely impacted Mahad residents. People stopped visiting the spot. They also stopped buying fish caught from that river as they felt that the corpses had contaminated the water. This affected the livelihoods of fishermen as well as the local economy,” said Shiddhesh Patil, 34, a Mahad resident.
Around two decades ago, the state had constructed a second bridge parallel to the old one. Vehicles heading to and from Goa started using it after the collapse.