Renovated Curzon Bridge at Allahabad can become an ideal traffic link
Vinod Anand | 10 Aug 2013

Renovated Curzon Bridge at Allahabad can become an ideal traffic link (Vinod Anand) The Curzon Bridge, one of the surviving relics handed down to us by the British, still stands majestically over the Ganga, linking Allahabad with Phaphamau. But it is not being used for traffic movement of any kind. The Railways are not interested in the bridge any more, having c6hstructed another one close by. But if this bridge is made serviceable, the rush’ on the other bridge would ease. Mr. Anand Mohan, who has filed a PIL in the High Court, has suggested that the District administration can easily buy off the bridge from the Railways with funds sanctioned for Mahakumbh, repair and renovate it and make it fit for public use. The idea is interesting. If the Railways have no use for it and they are also not dismantling it, why don’t they give, up their control over it and allow others to use it for traffic movement? At one stage they had even decided to auction it but could not do so because a renovation scheme intervened. But it seems that the talk of the bridge being in a dangerously dilapidated condition could be a well-orchestrated one so that someone may come forward to purchase it. Whatever be the truth, the fact remains that the Railways are unlikely to allow the usage of the bridge, saying it could be dangerous to do so but it may have no objection if the State, government assumes all responsibility for any mishap that may occur, should they agree to reopen the bridge to traffic. Many feel that if the railway track that is laid on the first floor of the bridge is completely dismantled and a road made instead then there could easily be one-way traffic on the bridge with vehicles going upwards on the upper road passage and those coming downwards using the one meant till recently for rail movement.. There could be other ways to use the portion below by converting it into a shopping centre with restaurants and attractive spots to draw even tourists. It would be delightful to go there during summers and ‘enjoy the cool breeze that would be reaching there after caressing the Ganga waters. Incidentally the Railways, in an affidavit filed in the High Court on their behalf, have stated that the bridge is in a dilapidated condition and it would be too risky to allow any traffic movement on it. That may be debatable because the other bridge, a relic from the British days too; that links Allahabad with Naini on river Jamuna, is still being opened to light, traffic. This has considerably helped to ease the rush on the new Yamuna Bridge. The Allahabad High Court ha now asked the Railways to file an affidavit by October 4, 2012 to explain whether or not the bridge can be opened to pedestrians and light traffic, especially during the Mahakumbh. Their reply would be eagerly awaited. But let me say one thing. I have heard people saying that Allahabad is on low priority of the Railways. Moreover, they can hardly be interested in preserving and renovating Curzon Bridge as they view the whole thing from national angle. Far them, the British-built Curzon Bridge is just one the many spread all over the country left behind by our alien rulers. But for us it could be the answer to the mad rush we see on the new Phaphamau Bridge. The District administration must use this opportunity to ‘buy’ the bridge, especially when right now it has funds at its disposal.