187-yr-old Amrutanjan bridge faces demolition
The 187-year-old Amrutanjan bridge near Lonavala is likely to be razed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) as it has now become a death trap for motorists on the Pune-Mumbai expressway. Suggestion and objections can be submitted till June 24, following which a decision will be taken on razing the bridge.pune Updated: Jun 06, 2017 16:51 IST
The famous 187-year-old Amrutanjan bridge near Lonavala is likely to be demolished by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) as it has become a death trap for motorists on the Pune-Mumbai expressway.
The MSRDC has written to the Indian railways, custodians of the bridge, seeking consent for its demolition.
According to MSRDC officials, the bridge, built by the British in 1830, has become a hindrance for traffic and the cause of regular accidents on the expressway. It became famous as the ‘Amrutanjan’ bridge thanks to a giant outdoor advertisement of the popular headache-relief balm Amrutanjan, which was put up on the facade of the bridge.
MSRDC officials said they have also invited suggestion and objections which can be submitted till June 24, following which a decision will be taken on razing the bridge.
The iconic bridge, often an attraction for tourists taking photographs of the picturesque Khandala ghat, causes much traffic chaos as pillars of the bridge come in the way of motorists, officials said. Tourists also often use the bridge as a backdrop for taking selfies.
Though not in use since the MSRDC built another bridge parallel to the old one while constructing the expressway, the Amrutanjan bridge over the past few years is a spot that has become accident-prone, leading to fatalities and causing congestion.
British officer Captain Hughes, responsible for developing railway tracks between Mumbai and Lonavala, built the bridge in a year’s time. The bridge later became a vital link between the two cities - Pune and Mumbai - in the state.
According to MSRDC executive engineer PS Auti, the bridge is currently with the railway department and therefore, MSRDC has sought permission to demolish it.
“Once the Railways give us consent, we will demolish the bridge,” said Auti.
The MSRDC has also initiated pre-bid work process for demolition of the bridge and officials have said there is no heritage tag attached to the bridge, disputing popular perception.