Metro work to continue near tunnel despite PMC’s letter

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 5 April 2019

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has taken a cognisance of the existence of a century old tunnel once used for water channelling in Swargate.

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has taken a cognisance of the existence of a century old tunnel once used for water channelling in Swargate.
 
The tunnel was found while a digging work was being carried out for Pune Metro’s Multi-Modal hub work last week. 

The civic body’s Heritage Department has sent a letter to Pune Metro Rail Corporation (PMRC) asking them to stop work near the tunnel. The civic body has asked PMRC to provide the plan of the Multi-Modal hub. The PMC had also decided to conduct a survey of the tunnel.
 
The PMC sent a letter to Metro officials on Thursday. While speaking to Sakal Times, Harshada Shinde, Executive Engineer of the Heritage Department of the Pune Municipal Corporation said, “We have sent a letter to Metro officials asking them to stop work near the tunnel as it is a heritage structure. We have also asked them to take precaution while working.”

She further said, “We have decided to assign the work to Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage (INTACH) to conduct the survey of the tunnel and submit a report to the PMC.”

Hemant Sonawane, General Manager of Public Relations of PMRC said, “We have already sent a letter to the civic body and informed them about the tunnel. Our work is going on. There is no change in our plan and I do not see any archaeological value of the structure.”

According to a historian, the 57 metre long tunnel is believed to be around 90 years old and it was used for channeling water during the British era from a water body near Swargate. The tunnel is 12 to 15 feet beneath the surface and is 1.4 metres wide and 3.5 metres high. The tunnel is closed from both the sides and there is 1,200 mm diametre pipe which is connected to the canal. 

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