By Narendra Gupta. Photographs by Santosh Gupta
Six hours mega block of central railway in Kalyan for dismantled 104- years-old Patri Pul bridge which connected Kalyan West and East
It took six hours mega block of the Central Railway in Kalyan to dismantle 104-year-old Patri Pul bridge which used to connect Kalyan West and East. The first Varanasi Mumbai Mahanagari express ran half an hour late because of this dismantling.
According to railway officials the bridge had two steel spans of 27 meters length each, each weighing approximately 60 tonnes which were removed by two crawler cranes of 600 tonnes and 400 tonnes capacity. Two major cranes of 120 tonne capacity were on standby.
Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO of Central Railway said,"We had a team which comprised 250-300 persons, including 50 engineers, 200 workers and RPF personnel".
The Kalyan traffic police had been deployed in clearing the traffic amdist the mega block.
Dr AK Singh, PRO Central Railway said,"The entire operation was also mapped and photographed for future reference (learning) ".
Patri Pul was constructed in 1914. As the traffic over the bridge was ever increasing and the bridge was nearing its slated life, another bridge was constructed in 2001. Safety audit was done by an IIT Mumbai team in July 2018 which suggested to dismantle the old bridge without delay.
During the block, Central Railway ran 178 special local services (earlier notified 120) between Kasara/Karjat/Khopoli and Kalyan & between CSMT and Dombivli.
Mumbai Division headed by Shri S.K. Jain, Divisional Railway Manager co-ordinated with KDMT who ran special bus services every 10-15 minutes between Kalyan and Dombivali and also with MSRTC, which ran 25-30 special bus services for Pune and Nasik to compensate cancellation of intercity trains.
According to commuter Rajesh Padhan who is a marketing executive in private firm in Thane, "The Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation bus services frequency was good but the commuters were more."
Minal Sapra, who is a Kalyan resident said, "I had gone to Marine Drive to enjoy along with some friends. We had forget about the news of Patri Pul dismantling on Sunday. Therefore, we lost one hour whilst waiting for a bus".
The auto rickshaw drivers took advantage of this and hiked their fare to around Rs 200 to 250.
The KDMT bus fare is Rs 10 for commuters.