Mumbai's iconic 148-year-old Carnac bridge at risk of collapse

At Carnac Bunder Bridge, a major disaster is waiting to happen. after the barricade at ‘unsafe’ 148-year-old road overbridge was recently destroyed, throwing it open to heavy vehicles

Carnac Bunder Bridge
Carnac Bunder Bridge had been shut since 2014. PIC/SHADAB KHAN

At Carnac Bunder Bridge, a major disaster is waiting to happen. The 148-year-old road overbridge, which passes over the railway lines between CST and Masjid railway stations, had been shut since 2014 after it was declared weak and unsafe for plying heavy vehicles.

However, a few days ago, sources said that a heavy vehicle rammed into the five-metre-tall barricade, which had been placed at the entry of the bridge, and dismantled it. 

Now, the bridge stands the risk of being used by thousands of heavily-loaded trucks and tempos. “On a daily basis, there is movement of at least 10,000 trucks in the vicinity of the bridge,” said Bal Malkit Singh, member, Maharashtra Truck Lorry Owners Association.

These heavy vehicles ply to the docks and local markets. “‘It offers a shorter route, but it is unsafe for trucks to ply,” Singh added.

When contacted, an official from Mumbai Traffic police confirmed that on Saturday, a truck had forcefully tried to pass through the bridge and damaged the barricade. To avoid trucks from using the bridge, the traffic police said that it would station officials at the site.

Meanwhile, BMC, which along with the Indian Railways had plan­ned to demolish the bridge, said, “Locals and the truckers purposely damage this barrier. We are welding the structure now,” said S Kori, chief engineer (Bridges), BMC. 

Earlier this month, BMC had flo­ated a for construction of the new bridge. The new bridge, which will be 70 metres long and 26.5 metres wide, will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 41.27 crore.

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