A bridge over a rain-fed nullah connecting at least five villages in Palghar collapsed Monday evening following heavy rainfall since Sunday.
Palghar Collector Kailash Shinde said the bridge had collapsed due to intense water pressure. “No villages are out of touch as of now and alternative routes have been identified by our ground teams. However, work on restoring the roads temporarily has begun,” he said.
The permanent repair work, Shinde said, will begin after the rains end and the damage is assessed.
A part of the Dahanu-Talasari Road, the bridge connects Ambesari, Dhundalwadi, Sanjan and Umbargaon villages to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. With the bridge washed away, villagers say, they would have to travel more than 10 km to reach the highway now.
“The bridge was extremely old and cracks had developed on it even before the rain started. We had asked the district officials to look into the matter, but they neglected. Now we have to travel for more than 10 km to reach the highway,” Vikram Bhasra, a resident of Ambesari, said.
The bridge, between Ambesari and Baripada villages, was barely five metre above the water level. “It snapped in the middle. Thankfully there was no vehicle on it when the incident happened,” Bhasra said.
Amit Dubla, another villager, said local residents would now have to travel over 15 km to reach places that were just 3-4 km away
This year, at least three bridges in Palghar have collapsed, while several internal roads caved-in due to the rains. The district received over 3,580 mm rainfall this monsoon, IMD data states.