Raigad (Maharashtra): Almost 10 months after at least 40 people were killed when an old road bridge was washed away in heavy rains near Mahad in Maharashtra’s Raigad, a new bridge in its place was inaugurated at the same site here on Monday.
Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Anant Geete along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries inaugurated the new bridge here which completed a crucial link on the busy Mumbai-Goa Highway.
The bridge, around 170 km south of Mumbai, has been completed in a record 165 days at a cost of nearly Rs 36 crore, and thrown open for traffic just before the south-west monsoon hits Maharashtra over the next few days.
“The Mumbai-Goa Highways plays a vital role in the transport and economic sectors of both Maharashtra and Goa and people from both sides prefer to travel via this route only. That’s why we prioritised the construction of this new bridge,” Gadkari said at the inauguration.
The central government sanctioned the work estimates on September 2 last year and tenders were immediately floated by the State PWD, the lowest bid was accepted and an agreement signed on December 1.
The work was carried out civil engineering major, Larsen & Toubro Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, Pune and completed within 165 days.
The new bridge is 16 metres wide, 239 metres long, three laned with a pedestrian path and a flood alarm system, constructed with anti-corrosive steel and painted with carbonation paint.
The former bridge, built during the British era, crashed in the early hours of August 2, 2016 when Raigad and surrounding areas were lashed by torrential rains.
As it plummeted into the swirling waters of the Savitri River, it took two buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, a Tavera SUV, a Honda City sedan and other smaller vehicles, killing an estimated at least 30 persons.
After massive operations by local bodies and NDRF, only 26 bodies were recovered with the rest feared to have been washed out in the high seas or preyed by crocodiles and large fish or snakes infesting the river.
The Savitri River is one of the five major rivers in the state which originates from Mahabaleshwar in Satara, and flows into Raigad through Poladpur, Mahad, Mangaon, Shrivardhan before joining the Arabian Sea at Harihareshwar in the coastal Konkan region.