The 30-year-old Chandani Chowk bridge in Pune is set to be demolished between 1 am and 2 am Sunday. The government reviewed the preparations for the demolition Saturday and informed that people staying within the 200-meter periphery of the bridge have been shifted out as a precautionary measure. It added that over 400 police personnel have also been deployed in the area.
Traffic near the demolition site will be closed at 11 pm Saturday and reopened at 8 am Sunday, as per the plan announced by the government.
“The bridge will be demolished between 1 am and 2 am. It will be a six-second exercise. We are confident that the traffic will be reopened by 8 am Sunday,” Sanjay Kadam, project director, National Highways Authority of India, told indianexpress.com.
The government has hired Edifice Engineering for the controlled demolition of the bridge that was proving to be a major bottleneck for traffic on the busy national highway connecting Mumbai with Bangalore. Notably, the same company carried out the demolition of the Noida twin towers about a month ago.
Pune district collector Rajesh Deshmukh, who visited the spot Saturday with senior officers to review the preparations, said 600 kg of emulsion explosives will be used to undertake the controlled demolition. “To avoid the debris of the bridge flying in the area outside the periphery, 6,500 channel links, 7,500 square meters of geotextile, 500 sandbags, and 800-meter rubber mats will be used…” said Deshmukh.
Kadam said about 350 people are part of the demolition drive. Fifteen JCBs, 10 forkland machines, and 30 heavy trucks will be used to remove the debris created by the demolition.
The official said it will take approximately eight hours to remove the debris.
“Considering the heavy flow of traffic on this road, we will take away the debris… so that the traffic can resume,” said Kadam.
Officials said that demolishing the huge structure in a few seconds is a challenging task as it is important to ensure that the concrete rubble does not get scattered all over the place.
“There are 60 skilled men who are meticulously doing the work of drilling, metal net fitting, covering of explosive spots, as well as charging around 1,300 drilled holes. Around 600 kg of explosives in liquid form is being used to fill around 1,300 holes,” Kadam said.