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Mumbai: BMC shows city how to preserve history

Updated on: 20 April,2023 07:27 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rajendra B. Aklekar |

Pillars of century-old Reay Road bridge, moved and assembled stone by stone, add class to entry gate of historic August Kranti Maidan

Mumbai: BMC shows city how to preserve history

Reay Road bridge remnants form a part of the entry to August Kranti Maidan

In the historic August Kranti Maidan live the pieces of the century-old Reay Road bridge. Once a link to the heritage station, two piers and pier caps are now part of the gateway to the ground where Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement in 1942.

Declared dangerous for human use, the British-era bridge was demolished last year. During the demolition work, engineers from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s conservation department spotted unique stone work on the bridge and could not allow it to be reduced to rubble. The piers with decorative pier caps looked majestic, officials recalled.

Also Read: Western Railway restores heritage lawn of Mumbai Central station

“A plan was drawn to conserve them with the help of engineers and conservation architects. At the time, the BMC was working on the restoration and makeover of the August Kranti Maidan, where the movement for independence had begun. It was on August 8, 1942, that Mahatma Gandhi made the call, at this very ground, for the British to quit India,” an official said.

The parts of the bridge during the demolition work last yearThe parts of the bridge during the demolition work last year

“These parts of Reay Road bridge were numbered, carefully disassembled and moved to the ground. Once all the parts were brought to the site, they were assembled and converted into majestic gates of the August Kranti Maidan,” he added. “The entire process was carried out in a very scientific manner with precision,” the official said.

The old bridge, which was demolished last year, is being replaced by a new state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridge, like the Bandra Worli sea link. The Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited is building the new connector. The Reay Road station was under Grade-I in the heritage list of 1995, but was downgraded to Grade II-A of the 2012 list.

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