Pimpri Chinchwad, 18th January 2024: The construction of the Rs 100 crore bridge spanning the Mula River and connecting Bopkhel and Khadki has hit a roadblock, with 90 percent of the bridge completed. However, the remaining work faces obstacles due to the obstruction caused by one of the towers of high-voltage transmission lines.
The private land at Bopkhel, necessary for the relocation of the tower, cannot be acquired, halting progress on the bridge. Consequently, the 15-kilometer detour endured by Bopkhel residents for the past nine years continues.
The College of Military Engineering (CME) closed the road from Bopkhel to Dapodi on May 13, 2015. Citizens have been compelled to travel to and from Pimpri-Chinchwad city via Dighi and Vishrantwadi, leading to significant inconvenience.
Following the Bombay High Court’s order, construction began on a 1,866-meter bridge over the Mula River from Bopkhel to Khadki. T&T Infra Company is responsible for the construction, and despite delays due to court proceedings and the Defence Department’s possession of the site, work on the Bopkhel side was completed, and permission for work on the Khadki side was granted on October 2, 2021.
The bridge, passing close to key Defence Department establishments, such as the 512 Army Base Workshop and Ammunition Factory, is 90 percent complete. A five-meter-high security boundary wall has been erected on both sides, with 1.5-meter high safety walls being installed. The project, spanning riverbeds, army railways, forest areas, roads, and defence department plots, includes eight-meter-wide roads with two lanes. Notably, the bridge lacks a pedestrian walkway, limiting its use to two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers, with even PMPML buses excluded.
The final phase of the bridge construction faces a hurdle in shifting the tower of high-voltage transmission lines. The site near Khadki has been secured, with five towers erected and connected wires. However, the lack of possession of private land at Bopkhel has stalled progress. The Municipal Corporation has been advised by the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company not to proceed without shifting the tower. The Electricity Department has corresponded with the Town Planning Department to expedite the possession process, but success remains elusive. Consequently, the completion of the bridge, initially set for April 2023, is now delayed, with the work halted for ten months.
Bapusaheb Gaikwad, Executive Engineer of the Construction Projects Department, assured ongoing efforts to acquire the necessary land for tower relocation. Once accomplished, the bridge construction will resume, providing relief to residents and facilitating traffic flow.