Hyderabad: The first bridge ever constructed in Hyderabad is all set to regain its lost glory. Built-in the year 1578 over the Musi River, Puranapul is one of the oldest landmarks in the city. And this bridge is being restored to its original glory.
The oldest surviving bridge after the Great Musi Flood of 1908 had become defunct and was being used as a vegetable market. It was built by the Qutub Shahi dynasty and has 22 arches, is 600 feet long and is 54 feet above the river bed.
Once renovated, the bridge will be free of encroachments, have a re-carpeted road, street lights and seating arrangements. These proposed amenities are in addition to an exclusive hawker zone and a walking track.
On Sunday, Urban Development Special Chief Secretary Arvind Kumar tweeted that the restoration works have commenced. “Yes, our team & @GHMCOnline & @ZC_Charminar have started working to clean up #Puranapul,” he replied to a Twitterati who posted a picture of the bridge.
Though the works are underway at a brisk pace, renovating the bridge turned into a challenge for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). Due to historical reasons and the bridge is closed for vehicles, the civic body is unable to use machinery to remove the tons of debris that has accumulated under the bridge near the gates for decades.
This strenuous task of clearing the waste is being executed by pressing into service workers who are physically collecting the debris and stocking it in bags. A heavy vehicle kept near a road adjacent to the bridge is being used to dump the bags.
“As part of the cleaning drive, the bushes grown on the bridge have also been removed. Once the debris is cleared, other works will be taken up on the bridge,” said a GHMC official.
Meanwhile, a meeting was also held with the line department to discuss the renovation plan. As per the plan of action, the renovated bridge will be useful for all stakeholders including the hawkers selling vegetables. The existing temporary vegetable stalls on the bridge will also get a facelift and an exclusive walking track will be developed.
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