CME dismantles pontoon bridge that connected Bopkhel village to Mumbai-Pune highway

Says ‘no specific order from defence ministry to retain bridge’; corporator to meet defence minister.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Updated: June 8, 2016 7:20:37 am
  College of Military Engineering, mumbai pune highway, mumbai pune highway accident, pontoon bridge, bopkhel village, bopkhel bridge, indian express pune, pune news, pune The Bopkhel pontoon bridge.

With no specific directions from the defence ministry to retain the temporary bridge, the College of Military Engineering (CME) dismantled the temporary bridge that connected Bopkhel village to the Mumbai-Pune highway on Tuesday.

The CME had announced dismantling the bridge ahead of the monsoons to which villagers had objected. The district administration had then met the defence minister when he was in Pune last week and put forth the issue to which a detailed report was sought on alternate arrangements.

Pune district collector Saurabh Rao had readied a detailed report on having a “permanent pontoon bridge with floating iron cylinders which could last for two to three years” till the permanent bridge is readied by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. However, even as the report was forwarded last Wednesday, there has been no response from the defence ministry yet.

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Corporator Sanjay Kate said that dismantling the bridge would inconvenience villagers and even as it was agreed upon principally by the defence minister, a written response is awaited for further directions.

“The defence minister is not in the country and therefore, there has been no response probably. However, we plan to meet him in Delhi and apprise him of the situation. He was very positive when he heard the matter in Pune and this might just be a technical delay due to his unavailability,’’ Kate said, hoping that the bridge would be constructed again.

Dismantling the bridge, the CME said that heavy showers in the coming days would entail the risk of travelling by the bridge which was constructed a year back. CME officials said the bridge was removed anticipating a rise in water level due to the monsoon and spread of water hyacinth in the river. “This would make the bridge unstable and unfit for use by civilians,’’ said an officer.

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