Panchsheel Sq bridge partially opens

Panchsheel square

Staff reporter:

After going through several hardships, the National Highway (NH) Unit of Public Works Department (PWD) finally threw open the Panchsheel Square bridge for vehicular traffic. The opening of even one section of the bridge has come as a great relief to citizens, especially commuters. The bridge had collapsed on September 23, 2023 after heavy rains lashed and flooded the city. It lay in the same condition until the middle of December, when the winter session of the State Legislature was in progress. On December 26, the work was assigned to PWD (NH).

Naresh Borkar, Executive Engineer of NH Unit told ‘The Hitavada’: “Our target to complete the work was three months, and we were making progress. But we faced certain problems as Nagpur experienced untimely rain during the period which slowed down the pace of work. Secondly, on one side of the bridge there is an old nullah which falls under the jurisdiction of the civic body. Without affecting the flow of the nullah, the bridge construction could not be completed. We have requested the civic body to give us permission or help us in managing the work of the nullah. The delay in obtaining approval also led to delays in our work. To this day, we have not received permission from the municipal body. But without waiting for the nod, we have now started working on it. In the meantime, we have opened part of the bridge to car traffic. It will take another 20 to 25 days to open the remaining part of the bridge.” “There are several such projects in the city that require repair work.

These projects lasted over a year. For example, the construction of the University Library Square Bridge over the Naag took three years. The same applies to the side running at Ravi Nagar Square, the work of which remained pending for almost two years. But in the case of Panchsheel Square bridge, the PWD’s NH unit worked quickly. The bridge is almost 100 years old. Its construction and development into a four-lane bridge according to the new construction standards was a difficult task. The floods on September 23 affected the structure of the bridge, causing it to collapse. The PWD authorities had no option but to go for the complete construction of the bridge. The old slab on the river was demolished and the entire earthwork was done by excavating both sides of the Wardha Road portion so that pillars could be built deep into the ground,” Borkar explains. Borkar also said, “We had to do this work on a war footing as the bridge is becoming increasingly important due to its connection to vital roads. Panchsheel Square to Jhansi Rani Square remained closed for vehicular traffic and also for pedestrians. The effect of the shutdown was felt in neighboring Dhantoli, where traffic jams became a routine. The heavy vehicles used the Shaheed Gowari flyover. This caused traffic loads on the bridge. Even the operation of city buses was severely affected as access to Mor Bhavan, the central terminus, was cut off. Businesses on both sides had come to a standstill.”