Pune: Bopkhel-Khadki Bridge Construction Resumes, Expected To Be Completed In Two Months

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Varad Bhatkhande

Pimpri Chinchwad, 22nd February 2024: The bridge construction between Bopkhel and Khadki, halted by a high-voltage transmission line tower obstruction over the Mula River, is back on track.

Former Deputy Mayor Hirabai Ghule facilitated coordination between the PCMC administration and landowners. With the owners’ approval, the bridge work commenced two days ago. Ghule is optimistic that the project will wrap up within two months, making the bridge accessible for citizens.

On May 13, 2015, the College of Military Engineering (CME) closed the Bopkhel to Dapodi road, compelling citizens to take a longer route through Dighi and Vishrantwadi to travel to and from Pimpri-Chinchwad city. This caused significant inconvenience for residents. Following a directive from the Bombay High Court, a bridge spanning 1,866 meters (approximately 2 kilometres) across the Mula River from Bopkhel to Khadki was initiated for the benefit of PCMC citizens. T&T Infra Company is overseeing the bridge construction. Delays ensued due to court proceedings and PCMC’s time-consuming acquisition of the Department of Defence’s site. However, upon the completion of work on the Bopkhel side, the Department of Defence granted permission for the construction to proceed on the Khadki side on October 2, 2021.

To ensure security near the 512 Army Base Workshop, Ammunition Factory, and other Defence Department establishments along the route, a five-meter-high boundary wall has been constructed on both sides of the bridge. Additionally, 1.5-meter-high safety walls are in the process of being installed. The bridge spans various terrains, including riverbeds, army railways, forest areas, roads, and Defence Department plots.

The roads on the bridge are eight meters wide, accommodating two lanes. Despite encountering the challenge of relocating a high-voltage transmission lines tower, 90% of the bridge construction has been completed. The progress was contingent on erecting a tower on the Bopkhel side, while the site near Khadki has been acquired with five towers already erected and connected with wires. However, the work faced a pause due to the inability to acquire private land in Bopkhel.

Initially, there was a lack of agreement between the PCMC administration and the landowner, leading to a standstill. Former Deputy Mayor and ex-local corporator Hirabai Ghule intervened to facilitate coordination between the PCMC administration and the landowners. At Ghule’s initiative, a meeting was convened between the PCMC administration and the landowners, during which a commitment was made to compensate the landowners with Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) in the future. Following this assurance and at the request of Ghule and PCMC, the site owners granted permission to commence the work. The construction has been underway for the past two days.

Former Deputy Mayor Hirabai expressed, “The Bopkhel bridge faced a 10% blockage due to land issues. The coordination between the landowner and PCMC administration successfully resolved this problem. Bopkhel residents endured a 15-kilometre detour for nine years, resulting in significant time and financial losses. Therefore, the administration must expedite the work now. The project is expected to be completed within the next two months.”

PCMC Executive Engineer Mahesh Kawale stated, “Confusion among landowners arose due to landmarking, causing a hindrance in the work. The issue has been addressed by clarifying the marking, eliminating the confusion among landowners. Consequently, the path has been cleared to commence the work, and construction has commenced. We anticipate the completion of the bridge work within the next two months.”