Pune: Bopkhel Bridge Construction To Resume After Final Approval From Defence Ministry  

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Sumit Singh

Pimpri Chinchwad, 11th September 2021: The way has been cleared for the construction of a bridge in Bopkhel on the site of the Defence Ministry.

BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap’s persistent pursuit got the ‘working permission’. So now the work of the bridge on the land belonging to the Defence will be undertaken.

Deputy Mayor Hirabai Ghule said that it is planned to complete the work and open the bridge for the people of Bopkhel in a few months. MLA Laxman Jagtap, Deputy Mayor Ghule thanked the Central Government on behalf of the people of Bopkhel.

The bridge over the Mula river will connect Bopkhel and Khadki and help residents of Bopkhel, Ramnagar and Ganeshnagar. After the College of Military Engineering (CME) blocked access to the old Mumbai-Pune Highway in Dapodi, people have to travel via Vishrantwadi or Bhosari to reach their destinations.

Deputy Mayor Ghule said that for the last four years, the people of Bopkhel had to make a big detour to reach Pimpri-Chinchwad or Pune. Therefore, through BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap, we approached the Central Government to build a bridge over the Mula river. The then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar followed up with Nirmala Sitharaman.

As a corporator, I have consistently pursued it through MLA Jagtap and got it approved by the Army and Ministry of Defence.

The actual construction of the bridge for the people of Bopkhel on the Mula river connecting Bopkhel to Khadki started on January 4, 2019. Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) started work quickly. The work on the bridge over the river was completed. But, there was work to be done on the Defence land. A working permit from the Defence ministry was required to continue working. For this, MLA Laxman Jagtap followed up with the Central Government and requested Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for permission.

“Our government at the centre responded positively. Defence Ministry gave final approval on September 9 for 16,122 sq mtrs. This has paved the way for the construction of the bridge on defence land. Now the work will start immediately”, informed Deputy Mayor Ghule.

Additional Commissioner Vikas Dhakne said, “Final working permission has been obtained to start work on Bopkhel bridge. A meeting will be held with the PCMC Commissioner in this regard. Planning will be done on how to start the work. Work on the bridge will begin accordingly.”

On 13th May 2015, the CME authorities had closed the road connecting Bopkhel to Dapodi Road after the Bombay High Court ruled in its favour on a petition filed against the closure of the road. Due to the road being closed, residents of the Bopkhel area have to travel at least half an hour more on the alternate routes.

The issue of the closure of Bopkhel Road took a violent turn on 21st May 2015 as the villagers pelted stones and bricks during agitation and police had to resort to lathi-charge and use of tear gas to control the mob. At least 22 police personnel and 15 villagers were injured in the incident.

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