By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 22 Dec: The approach road to the Bhopalpani Bridge on Raipur-Thano Link Road caved in this morning which has affected traffic movement on this road. The Raipur-Thano Link Road is a busy road which witnesses 24 hour heavy movement of traffic.
After the approach road caved in, the vehicles are being diverted from below the bridge as the river under the bridge is currently dry. As soon as the news was received about the road collapse, the Police team reached the spot and stopped the traffic movement. This resulted in long queues on both sides of the bridge. After some time, the Police started diverting the vehicles to below the bridge as the river is currently dry.
Soon, the police administration reached the spot and stopped the movement. During this, long queues of vehicles started on both sides of the bridge. Police started the traffic through an alternate route. Many vehicles were asked to take alternate routes.
It may be recalled that one part of the Bhopalpani Bridge had collapsed in 2018. Today, the approach road is stated to have collapsed but no casualties were reported. As per the sources, the Chief Engineer (National Highway) inspected the bridge and has submitted a report to the Chief Engineer (HOD) in this respect.
Sources claim that, according to the report, at present there is no danger to the bridge and the walls of the bridge have been found completely safe. The report further says that the caved in area will be repaired soon and then the traffic movement on the bridge can be restored. The report stresses that there is no need for reconstruction of the road and the portion that caved in today was due to subsidence because of continuous movement of heavily loaded trucks of sand and gravel picked from the rivers of the area. The bridge had been constructed at a cost of Rs 8 crores in 2018 but a portion had collapsed even before its formal inauguration. It was then repaired and since then the traffic had been allowed to pass over the bridge.
From time to time, people have also claimed that large scale illegal quarrying goes on in the rivers of this area and overloaded trucks carrying legal and illegally picked up sand and gravel pass from these bridges throughout the night. Whether this is the reason can only be established after a fair inquiry. Whether this would be ordered is a big question. Local residents of the area also claim that despite the ban, sand and gravel are also picked up from the rivers from the areas around the bridges which further weaken the bridge structure.