89-year-old Gadhi river bridge at Pan­vel closed to traf­fic

URAN-PAN­VEL LINK Light ve­hi­cles can use the new bridge but heavy ve­hi­cles can­not use ei­ther

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com Arvind Walmiki arvind.walmiki@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Af­ter the Ma­had bridge col­lapse, the Pan­vel au­thor­i­ties are cau­tious.

On Thurs­day, the Pan­vel public works depart­ment (PWD) of­fice wrote to Pan­vel city po­lice sta­tion ask­ing it to shut the 89-year-old bridge across Gadhi river. On Fri­day, the bridge was shut.

Mo­torists will now use only the new bridge to travel from Pan­vel to Uran. But, heavy ve­hi­cles will not be al­lowed to use the new bridge. They will have to use al­ter­na­tive routes which are longer.

The PWD of­fice said that the bridge is in­creas­ingly get­ting di­lap­i­dated and there is a pos­si­bil­ity of an un­to­ward in­ci­dent tak­ing place.

Trans­port min­is­ter Diwakar Raote has or­dered the audit of all old bridges in the state fol­low­ing the col­lapse of the Ma­had bridge.

The 150-me­tre bridge was con­structed by the British in 1927 to travel from Pan­vel to Uran. This was the only bridge con­nect­ing the two talukas for years. The life ex­pectancy of the bridge has long ex­pired, as per of­fi­cial records.

In 2006-07, a new bridge was built next to the old di­lap­i­dated bridge. Till Fri­day, both the bridges were be­ing used for traf­fic move­ment on op­po­site sides.

Ku­nal Patil, a lo­cal res­i­dent, said: “De­spite the Gadhi river bridge in Pan­vel on its last legs, there was reg­u­lar flow of traf­fic on it. The two lanes were used by mo­torists to travel from Pan­vel to­wards Uran. The new bridge was used for travel from Uran to­wards Pan­vel.” The old di­lap­i­dated bridge con­nect­ing Pan­vel and Uran has been shut since Fri­day.

Se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor of Pan­vel city po­lice sta­tion Su­nil Ba­jare and Pan­vel Traf­fic se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor Vi­jay Kad­bane in­spected the bridge on Fri­day and shut it for traf­fic.

Kad­bane said, “Traf­fic on the old bridge has been stopped fol­low­ing in­ti­ma­tion by the PWD of­fi­cials. The to and fro traf­fic be­tween Pan­vel and Uran is only on the new bridge.”

He added, “As a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure, we have also stopped the ply­ing of heavy ve­hi­cles on the new bridge as well as Kalun­dare bridge close by.

PWD deputy en­gi­neer DP Jad­hav, “There is a need for struc­tural audit of the old bridge on Gadhi river and hence we have stopped traf­fic on it. We also asked the po­lice to have two-way traf­fic on the new bridge to en­sure smooth flow of traf­fic.”

SM Kam­ble, as­sis­tant en­gi­neer of PWD, said: “We have sent a re­quest for struc­tural audit of the bridge to the depart­ment. Once the process is com­pleted, we ex­pect the audit to be com­pleted in 10 days.”

The shut­ting down of the old bridge will in­crease traf­fic snarls in the area.

Girish Mha­tre, a lo­cal res­i­dent, said: “De­spite the pres­ence of two bridges, the area reg­u­larly wit­nesses traf­fic snarls. Now with only one bridge ca­ter­ing to traf­fic, it is go­ing to get worse.”

He added, “There is a big fish mar­ket near the bridge which has peo­ple com­ing from all over the re­gion. They park their ve­hi­cles in a hap­haz­ard man­ner. There is also the is­sue of sev­eral ven­dors sit­ting on the roads and even the bridge. This will lead to fur­ther traf­fic snarls.”

A 20-year-old woman and her boyfriend were ar­rested for steal­ing 35 to­las of jewellery and Rs1.5 lakh cash from a house at Sea­woods.

On July 19, the woman named Sweta went to Sakhu­more­sh­war Apart­ment at Sec­tor 44A in Sea­woods and asked the watchman if she could get some job. The watchman told her that a res­i­dent wanted a help.

Sweta started work­ing at the house of Ar­jana Malan. When Malan asked her to sub­mit her details, Sweta said that she will give it in a cou­ple of days.

On July 20, Malan went out for around half an hour. Sweta al­legedly stole Rs 21.52 lakh worth of gold and di­a­mond jewellery and cash and fled. Malan complained to NRI coastal po­lice sta­tion about the theft.

Ac­cord­ing to deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice zone I, Prashant Khaire, “It was found that nei­ther Malan nor the build­ing watchman had any in­for­ma­tion on Sweta. This cre­ated ob­sta­cles in trac­ing her.”

Se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor Shekhar Ba­gade of NRI coastal po­lice sta­tion and his team checked the CCTV footage of the area. In one of the footages, Malan recog­nised Sweta.

From the footage, the pho­to­graph of the ac­cused was taken and sent to all po­lice sta­tions.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that the ac­cused’s full name was Sweta Shankar Hadap­pan and that she was 20 years old. She hailed from Hu­dadli vil­lage of Chin­choli taluka in Gul­barga dis­trict of Kar­nataka,” said Khaire.

A po­lice team was sent to Kar­nataka, but they learnt that she had re­turned to Mumbai. She was fi­nally found near Vashi rail­way sta­tion along with her boyfriend.

Their search led the po­lice to stolen prop­erty. They were then de­tained and ar­rested. The po­lice have re­cov­ered 35 tola di­a­mond stud­ded gold jewellery and Rs1.50 lakh.

Khaire said: “Sweta con­fessed to be­ing in­volved in sim­i­lar crimes. Her modus operandi has been to take up a job as a do­mes­tic help and when­ever the op­por­tu­nity arises, to steal valu­ables from the house and flee.”

Khaire has an­nounced a cash prize of Rs 10,000 to the in­ves­ti­gat­ing team for solv­ing the case.

Three peo­ple from Kalwa were book for il­le­gal sand min­ing for Rs 2.45 lakh on Fri­day. All the three ac­cused are yet to be ar­rested.

The ac­cused are res­i­dents of Reti­bun­der in Kalwa and that they are sus­pected to be in the age group of 20-30 years.

On Fri­day, of­fi­cials from col­lec­tor of­fice got a tip off about the il­le­gal sand min­ing go­ing on Reti­bun­der area of Kalwa.

They raided the spot with help from Kalwa po­lice.

A po­lice in­spec­tor from Kalwa po­lice sta­tion said, “An of­fi­cer who told us about the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity but when we reached the spot, the ac­cused fled. We ques­tioned the lo­cals who gave us the first names of the ac­cused who have been charged un­der rel­e­vant sec­tions.”

It was found that the trio had re­moved a 35 brass of sand which has mar­ket value of Rs2.45 lakh.

The po­lice of­fi­cer added, “The trio did not have per­mis­sion for sand min­ing. We have seized the sand and also the ma­chines used to re­move the sand. We are trac­ing the ac­cused as we have got their mo­bile num­bers.”

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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