Kottayam: The day-long bid to raze the old railway overbridge in the heart of Kottayam town through a remote-controlled demolition failed, much to the disappointment of an eager crowd that waited to see the demolition act here at Nagampadom on Saturday.
It was initially planned to demolish the 65-year-old Nagampadam bridge using controlled demolition at 11 am. However, it did not work out due to technical failures. Another attempt was again planned for 2:45pm, but got delayed till 5pm. However, the bridge still stood strong.
Road and rail traffic through Nagampadam have been re-instated, authorities informed.
Manorama News reported that the Indian Railways have dropped the plan to demolish the bridge through controlled 'implosion' technique. Now, traditional methods used for breaking the bridge are being considered.
The railway authorities took the opportunity to shower praises for the high quality beams that were used in the construction of the old bridge.
Meanwhile, renowned engineer E Sreedharan claimed that it would be difficult to bring down the bridge as it is exceptionally strong. Sreedharan was the assistant engineer at Kottayam railway station when the overbridge was being built in 1955.
"I too had a role to play in its construction," Sreedharan, who was behind the raising of the Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro, stated.
Several people thronged the Jawarlal Nehru stadium to witness the event.
The bridge and its pillars were drilled and explosives were placed inside it on Friday. The entire bridge had been covered with a plastic material to stop spread of debris and dust.
The bridge is on a stretch of the busy MC Road.
Top railway authorities, district heads, police, firefighters and municipal authorities were present.
In order to raze the bridge, concrete beams and pillars were weakened over time first. This was done by the end of February. Beams, pillars and base of bridge were fitted with nitroglycerine and dynamite in a process called charge. These part were drilled and explosives inserted.