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Troubled bridge over Gomti waters

The 200-metre Gandhi Setu on Gomti near the Ambedkar Memorial is getting yet another revamp — the second within a year. But no one wants to say why or at what cost.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow |
March 30, 2010 1:22:23 am

The 200-metre Gandhi Setu on Gomti near the Ambedkar Memorial is getting yet another revamp — the second within a year. But no one wants to say why or at what cost.

The pink stone railing of the bridge made last year by the Lucknow Development Authority is being demolished. The LDA Vice-Chairman,Mukesh Kumar Meshram,refused to explain why,since the High Court is monitoring the matter. An official,however,said the railing was “too high and hinders the view of the river from the bridge”.

Last week,the railing was demolished. The state-of-the-art light poles installed on the railings have also been removed. Two cranes are working round-the-clock to place new pieces of Mirjapuri sandstone on the bridge. “The stone from the demolished railings will be dumped somewhere,” said a contractor.

No estimate of the cost of the demolished railings and the fancy lights is available,nor the cost of the new railing which will be built in its place.

Because of the continuous construction,the bridge remained closed to traffic most of the last one-and-a-half years.

When the bridge was closed on October 14,2008,the LDA had said that it would reopen in 45 days — the time needed for Jal Nigam to lay a sewer line under it. The work was over by January 2009,but the LDA did not open the bridge and,instead,started more construction. Later,the LDA announced that the bridge will open on April 30,but it did not.

The old railing was demolished and the LDA built a new pink stone railing. It also built a huge gate on the bridge near the Jiamau crossing at cost of over Rs 10 crore,after demolishing an existing smaller gate. Some other work was also done.

The last time the LDA had opened the bridge for traffic was on March 15,the birth anniversary of BSP founder Kanshiram,It was shut again within a few days.

Recently,following a PIL,the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court asked the state government to open the bridge to the public on May 1. Meshram said the LDA will abide by the court order.

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