The dismantling of the British-era Railway bridge over the Naigaon-Bhayandar creek of the Western Railway has begun. The 153 years old railway bridge was built in April 1867 by the British and was first Railway Bridge in India. The bridge started dismantling with the help of gas cutters since Tuesday.
On 12 April 1867, the first train from Virar to Bombay Backbay ran during the British rule. At that time, the railway stations were Nala, Basin, Panje, Borwala, Pahadi, Andaru, Santacruz, Bandora, Mahim, Dadur, Grant Road and Bombay Backbay. Later, these stations have renamed with the different pronunciation and addition.
Now, the names are Nalasopara, Vasai Road, Bhayandar, Borivali, Malad, Andheri, Bandra, Dadar. However, service to the Backbay discontinued and Churchgate declared as the terminus for the local trains. The old British-era Bridge has been unused since 1990 when another new bridge was built over Naigaon-Bhayandar creek in 1989. The demolition of the old British-era Bridge began on Tuesday after the railway administration auctioned it off.
With the auction process over of the bridge between Naigaon and Panaju, the contractor has started dismantling the bridge. Initially, the upper and iron part of the bridge will get dismantling with the help of a gas cutter. The pillars of the bridge will be touched later. However, the auction of Bhayandar side of the Bridge is pending and after the process gets completed, the bridge will be demolished. The pillars of both these bridges are filled with lead and copper. In today’s value, the worth goes in crores. Till date, the villagers were using it for crossing the creek.
Illegal Mining of sands
The railway bridge connecting Naigaon-Bhayandar was under threat, due to illegal sand diggings. The large quantity of illegal sand mining has been seen here at wee hours. However, police has not taken any action against these smugglers.
“Millions of commuters travel by local train every day on the new Bhayandar-Naigaon railway bridge. However, despite fishermen informing that a large quantity of sand excavation by the sand mafia through suction pumps near Bridge, no action has been taken,” said the sources.
“We some fishermen tried to stop the activity, they threaten them and said they have permission for it,” said the sources.