UNDER THE project titled Heritage Sites Mission of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the Bundgarden Bridge will be converted into an Art Plaza. The work, which has been on for the past six months, is in its final phase and the plaza is likely to open for public by March first week.
Shyaam Dhavalaey, executive engineer, Heritage Cell, said, “There are 250 heritage sites in the city and this is one of them. The Bundgarden Bridge is an old historical structure that needs protection and restoration. Hence, under the Heritage Sites Mission, we decided to give it a makeover. The bridge, which was closed for vehicles since five years, will be converted into an Art Plaza, which will facilitate artistes from various backgrounds showcase their works. The work is being done without changing its heritage look.”
“Right from photographers, sculptors, painters to performing artistes will be able to utilise the area. This will provide value addition to the historical structure, which is more than a century old,” he added. Other sites that are being restored under the Heritage Sites Mission include Vishrambaug Wada, Nana Wada, Kasba Ganpati, Bund Garden Bridge, Mahatma Phule Mandai and Omkareshwar, among others.
Originally named the Fitzgerald Bridge was constructed in 1867 during the British era. It was named after the then Governor of Bombay (now Mumbai) Sir William Robert Vesey Fitzgerald and was designed and constructed by Captain Robert S. Sellon of the Royal Engineers. The 800-foot-long bridge crosses the Mula-Mutha river.
An amount of Rs 90 lakhs is being spent on the development of the Art Plaza which includes decorative floor pattern, seating arrangement, pathway, flower bed, display work and so on. Talking about the remaining work on the project, said Dhavalaey, “We are in the process of making the booking window, storage area, parking area and gates. Almost 90 per cent work on the project has been finished; the remaining will be done in a month’s time.”