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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Edition 18: Puneri Chaat

Down Memory Lane

The Bund Garden is one of the most well-known park among the gardens of Pune. The bridge on the river Mula where this garden is situated is famous with the same name. The garden got its name from a bund built on the river and bridge got famous because of garden. Although, the bridge is official named Fitzgerlad bridge.

Before building of Khadakwasla dam near Pune, a bund was built on the river in 1850 to check the water flow as also providing water to Cantonment area. The Bund Garden was built in 1868-69 following the instructions of Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy. Situated on the right hand bank of the Mula-Mutha rivers, the garden now is also known as Mahatma Gandhi Udyan.

Because of the backwater near this bund, many water sports activities were started. It gave birth to the creation of Royal Connaught Boat Club. The club lent its name to the road leading to it which is today known as Boat Club road.

About the same time, a bridge was built near the bund in 1867-68. It connected Yerwada to Pune and also allowed the traffic towards Ahmednagar. Because of statues of two lions place near this bridge, it was referred by local people as Sinhacha Pul.

The Poona District Gazetteer, 1885 mentions about the place:
About a mile and a quarter north-east of the Railway Station, at the Bund Gardens, about 200 yards above the FitzGerald bridge, the Mutha-Mula is crossed by a stone weir or Bund built in 1850 by Sir Jamsetji Jijibhai at a cost of £25,749 18s. (Rs. 2,57,499). Above the weir, through the cold and hot months of all ordinary seasons, the river is navigable for pleasure boats as far as the old masonry bridge known as Holkar's Bridge, a distance of about three and three quarter miles.
From the FitzGerald bridge looking west is one of the prettiest views in Poona. On the left are the trees and flowers of the Bund garden, the higher tree-tops half hiding the distant broken line of the Sinhgad-Bhuleshvar hills. In front, from the edge of the dam, between low tree-fringed banks, the river, about 200 yards wide, stretches west about half a mile to where it is divided by a long low woody island. Beyond the island, as it turns south-west to the meeting of the rivers, the water passes out of sight in the green Kirkee plain.
About 1700 feet above the FitzGerald bridge, hid in trees on the south or right bank of the river, is the Boat House of the Poona Boat Club. Above the island the river gradually widens, till, a little below the meeting or sangam of the Mutha from the south-west and the Mula from the north-west, it is 430 yards across. In the yearly Regatta the racing-course is from Rosherville down to a point opposite to Garden Reach, a distance of one mile.
Very little of this picturesque description is seen today. The bund has long been relegated to history and a new bridge is being built there. The FitzGerald bridge outlived lives capacity long ago, still it is being used for the traffic even today. A few years ago, the Pune Municipal Corporation was notified by the company which built this bridge that its responsibility period is over now. This was the strength of the building as well as character!
Fifty-50 For Pune Metro
Adding more debating voices to the metro project, the municipal corporations of Pune and Pimpri CHinchwad decided to implement it independently. The PMC Standing Committee on Tuesday approved the implementation of Metro rail route from Vanaz in Kothrud to Ramwadi that falls in the jurisdiction of the civic body.
The standing committee decided not to establish a firm for the project and instead resolved to entrust implementation of the project to the civic body itself. For this, PMC will have to raise funds for the project.

The original scheme designed by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had suggested starting two routes in the first phase of the Metro project in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. However, the PMC refused to take up the project. The administration asked the standing committee to approve the work on the 16-km-long Vanaz-Ramwadi route in the first phase.
On the other hand, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has asked the DMRC to prepare a separate project report on the metro route along the Pune-Mumbai highway which falls within its jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the Pune Technical Coalition, association of technical groups, called for redesigning the route and make it underground instead of elevated.
“The proposal for the 15-km corridor from Vanaz to Ramwadi has been approved along with the decision of the project to be implemented by the PMC instead of appointing any agency,” said Arvind Shinde, chariman of PMC’s standing committee.

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