Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)
Mangaluru, Jun 17: As Maravoor bridge that lies on the road to the local airport has moved two and a quarter feet after developing cracks, temporary works were undertaken on Wednesday against further damage, by placing huge boulders around the pillars of the bridge.
A team of experts is expected to arrive here to assess the situation from Bengaluru. Because of Covid situation, the team's arrival might be delayed by a couple of days. In the meantime, a team of PWD engineers shared information with the experts from Bengaluru over phone. As per their advice, boulders were stacked around the pillars of the bridge.
PWD executive engineer, Yashwant, said that the suggestions made by experts towards stopping any further damage to the bridge have been implemented. He said that works as the experts team might suggest after visiting the bridge, will be taken up immediately. He said that based on the reports of the experts, the proposal to permit light vehicles to move will be examined if the report rules out any danger to them.
The police have blocked movement of vehicles and the people on the bridge by installing barricades on both the sides of the road. Policemen have been deployed on both the ends of the bridge. The police said that many police, unaware that the road has been blocked, came till the bridge on Wednesday morning before going back.
Now, vehicles going from the direction of Udupi bound towards Bajpe are routed through Mulky, Moorukaveri, and Kateel while vehicles from the direction of the city are sent via Kulur and Jokatte, Vamanjoor and Gurpur Kaikamba. Because of lockdown, the number of vehicles moving on these roads is less and hence no major problem was encountered. People feel that in the coming days, when vehicular traffic increases, traffic snarls might occur on these narrow roads.
Many believe that the old bridge developed cracks because of senseless sand mining and also the blocking of water flow by heaping mud on one side of the river and allowing water to flow on the other side to facilitate construction of the new bridge. Even though pipes have been fixed in the heaped mud, as the mud got stuck in these pipes, water is not flowing through them, many point out. Because there was heavy rain on Monday, the water flow in the river was forceful as a result of which the pillars of the bridge, already weakened by sand mining, would have been displaced. On Tuesday and Wednesday, mud was removed because of the fear that the bridge might crash to the ground. People feel that the main mistake was allowing only 15 metres of the river to flow as against the actual width of 150 metres.
On account of dredging for the last some years, an isle with a circumference of 50 metres that was visible on the left side of the bridge when moving towards Bajpe, has partially collapsed. As sand is being extracted around the isle, the lower portion seems to have been eroded and the water would have washed it away. Only half of the isle remains on two sides.