Pune’s Chandni chowk old bridge to be demolished at 2 am on Oct 2
There will be a nine-hour traffic block on the Katraj to Dehu Road highway, from 11 pm on Saturday to 8 am on Sunday
After completion of the pre-demolition work, the old bridge at Chandni chowk will finally be demolished at 2 am on Sunday, October 2, by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) through the private agency, ‘Edifice Engineering’ which has been assigned the work of blasting. Whereas, a major block of nine hours will be taken on the Katraj to Dehu road bypass highway starting from 11 pm on Saturday, October 1 to 8 am on Sunday, October 2 for the actual blasting and removal of debris from the bypass highway. The traffic on the bypass highway coming from both the Mumbai and Satara side will be diverted during this block period, while the traffic police has appealed to Punekars to avoid travelling through the bypass highway during this time and travel along the diverted routes only in case of emergency.
Rajesh Deshmukh, Pune district collector, in a press conference held on Tuesday, said, “In a bid to resolve the traffic congestion issue at Chandni chowk, chief minister Eknath Shinde had instructed to speed-up the work to demolish the old bridge at Chandni chowk earlier this month. Accordingly, since the last few weeks, the pre-demolition work of the bridge was being carried out by the NHAI and Edifice Engineering which has been assigned the work of blasting. On Tuesday, a joint meeting was held along with the NHAI, traffic police department and other concerned department officials, and it was decided to demolish the bridge at 2 am on October 2. For this, a major traffic block will be taken on the Katraj to Dehu road bypass highway starting from 11 pm on Saturday, October 1 to 8 am on Sunday, October 2. The entire surrounding area of Chandni chowk will be closed down with barricading from all sides and the work will be carried out.”
“In the pre-demolition work, all the utilities above the old bridge have been shifted successfully and the work of blasting has been assigned to the ‘Edifice Engineering’ which recently demolished the twin towers in Noida. While carrying out the actual blast, it is necessary to evacuate all the buildings within a 200-metre radius from the actual blast site. As per the survey conducted by the NHAI, there are three hotels in this 200-metre radius, and they will be given notices on Wednesday to evacuate the buildings on the night of the blast. We have got all the necessary permissions to carry out the blasting from the police department and other government agencies,” Deshmukh said.
About the pre-demolition work that has been carried out till now, Deshmukh said, “In the pre-demolition work till now, around 1,300 holes, each of a depth of 1.5 metre, have been drilled into the old bridge structure and approximately 600 kg of explosives will be used for blasting purposes that have been bought from an authorised vendor from Pune. Also, the maximum (as per requirement) illumination will be carried out at the spot. Special equipment has been brought to monitor the vibrations that will occur during the blast for study purposes. Once the blasting is carried out at 2 am, the major task will be to remove the debris from the highway and for that, preparations have been made. For this work, four bulldozers, eight pocklain machines, and around 30 heavy vehicle trucks will be deployed for the removal of the debris along with over 100 labourers to carry out the demolition work.”
Sharing the details of the traffic diversion plans during the nine-hour block, Rahul Shrirame, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said, “All heavy vehicles will be stopped at Talegaon Dabhade toll naka for vehicles coming from the Mumbai side, and at Khed Shivapur toll naka for vehicles coming from the Satara side during the block period. In case of other light vehicles, for those coming from the Mumbai side, traffic will be diverted well before on the bypass highway at Ravet, Wakad bridge and Sus Pashan roadside for small vehicles going towards the Pune side. Similarly, vehicles coming from the Katraj side will also be diverted from the old Katraj ghat road and before the Navale bridge chowk, they will be diverted through the Sinhagad road side,”
“We are going to deploy more than 50 traffic police personnel to monitor this traffic movement at the diversion points, along with the Pimpri-Chinchwad traffic police division. Our appeal to the public is to avoid using the bypass highway during this block period from the night of October 1 till 2 am on Sunday, October 2. Please use the given traffic diversions to travel in the night only in case of emergency,” he said.