Inauguration of Pal-Umara river bridge to benefit 10 lakh residents of Adajan, Vesu and Athwalines.

Surat : After five long years, the much-awaited prominent bridge on Tapi river connecting Pal and Umara was thrown open for the public use by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday.

About 10 lakh denizens residing in Athwalines, Umara,Vesu, Pal, Adajan and Bhatha will be benefited as the bridge will reduce the commuting time between Umara and Adajan from 15 minutes to just 5 minutes, combating pollution and saving fuel cost.

This is the 14th bridge on Tapi river and 115th bridge in the city. The bridge is 940 metres long and constructed at the cost of Rs 90 lakh.

The construction of the approach end of the bridge at Umara was suspended due to litigation by the house owners when the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) started the acquisition of the land three years ago.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who was in the city to attend a series of inaugurations and ground-breaking ceremonies of the public utility projects of the SMC and the Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA) on Sunday. Rupani also paid a visit at the world-class Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) at the Diamond Research and Mercantile (DREAM) City at Khajod, which is nearing completion.

Official sources said the Gujarat High Court had approved the demolition of houses obstructing the construction of the approach end at Umara in November-2020. It was in December, residents of the affected properties vacated and the SMC started the demolition activity.

In the end of 2014, the SMC had invited tender for the Rs 90 crore worth of bridge on Tapi river connecting Pal and Umara. The construction work started in 2015 and that about 95% of the work was completed in 2018.

Akshay Pandya, executive engineer (bridge cell) told TBT, “Pal-Umara bridge is included in the second phase of BRTS project. From Pal, the bridge will connect directly at the SVNIT junction in Umara. About 10 lakh people, majority of them in Adajan and Pal will be benefited”

Pandya added, “Those studying in schools and colleges in Athwalines, Vesu, Parle Point etc will be hugely benefited as they will save on the fuel and time to reach their destination on the other side of the river”

Official sources said that all the inaugurations and ground breaking ceremonies were performed virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 1,200 crore worth of projects were lined up by the civic body.