187-year-old bridge connecting Mumbai and Pune to be demolished


187-year-old bridge connecting Mumbai and Pune to be demolished
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The iconic Amruntanjan Bridge, located near Lonavala, which connects Mumbai and Pune is set to be demolished with a controlled blast on Saturday. The Raigad district collector has granted permission for the same to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). An official said that the corporation has received permission to raze it between April 4 to 14.

With the traffic on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway being reduced significantly amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the authorities granted permission to demolish the 187-year-old structure, the official added.

In the meantime, as the demolish drive is being conducted, the traffic officials will place traffic diversions in place on both lanes of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on the 10-km stretch. The Amrutanjan Bridge has been shut for vehicular traffic for the last several years due to its dilapidated condition.

The MSRDC had already written to the Railways, who are custodians of the bridge, asking for permission to conduct the demolition. Alongside, MSRDC had also approached the district collector and state highway police to provide security and regulate traffic.

In other news, Indian Railways has decided to convert up to 20,000 of its coaches into isolation beds. The authorities have now announced that this will offer up to 3.2 lakh isolation beds for COVID-19 patients. For the time being, Railways is only looking to use non-AC coaches for this purpose. 

The bridge, which was built by the British in 1830, has often been blamed for causing traffic snarls and accidents on the route, the official mentioned.

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