British-Era Dufferin (Malaviya bridge), Varanasi (1887) should be strengthened and preserved

Dufferin /Malaviya bridge, Varanasi,UP.

134 year old Dufferin Bridge, Varanasi, UP.

Double train track. Dufferin/Malaviya bridge, Varanasi,UP

Dufferin Bridge, now called Malaviya bridge

Malaviya  (Dufferin) Bridge, introduced in 1887, is a double decker  sturdy iron structure  over the Ganges at Varanasi with  rail tracks on lower deck and  a  wide road on the upper deck; besides, it  has  footpaths on either side of the bridge.  It is one of the significant bridges connecting   the Grand Trunk (GT) Road over the river. It has 7 ranges of 350 ft and 9 ranges of 110 ft and it was the primary extension of its sort developed in the Indian sub-mainland by the designers of Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway. It is built connecting the already built lines from Benares and Lucknow to the Eastern railway; 4th bridge built by the same company. The allowed stain work on the bridge is 6.5 ton per sq. inch in the bottom booms and diagonals and 6 ton in the upper booms and 5 tons in the verticals.  Built on 16th Dec 1887 to commemorate the viceroyalty of  the Viceroy the Earl of  Dufferin. The project was  approved in 1879 by the state govt..

Dufferin /Malaviya bridge, Varanasi,UP.

Lord Dufferin

Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava KP GCB GCSI GCMG GCIE PC (21 June 1826 – 12 February 1902) was a British public servant and prominent member of Victorian society ..............................

To rule with any success, Dufferin would need to gain the support of both communities. By all accounts he was highly successful in this regard, and gained substantial support from all communities in India. He advanced the cause of the Indian Nationalists greatly during his term, without antagonizing the conservative whites. Among other things, the Indian National Congress was founded during his term in 1885, and he laid the foundations for the modern Indian Army by establishing the Imperial Service Corps, officered by Indians. Work began in  1881 and formally opened in 1887 for traffic. 

 Dufferin bridge,varanasi,

Dufferin (Malayiya) bridge, Varanasi,

Above image: The 134 year old  iron bridge with two decks- upper deck for the vehicles and the lower deck for the trains, built by the Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway. After India's freedom the bridge was renamed after  Madan Mohan Malaviya, the founder of Banaras Hindu University.....................

office of the Awadh Rohilkhand Railway,

Logo of Oudh & Rohilkhand Railway

Above image:  Formed around 1872 by taking over the interests of the ‘Indian Branch Railway’. ‘Awadh Rohilkhand Railway (O&RR) operated under a Government of India  guarantee, was acquired by the State on 1 Jan 1889. BG mileage in 1905:1165 miles. Main lines included  Benares (Varanasi) to Saharanpur and Allahabad to Fyzabad (1905). In 1925, the O&RR was merged into the ‘East Indian Railway’(EIR) when the latter  fell into the control of the state government. The Oudh (Awadh) and Rohilkhand Railway Company built their workshops in Lucknow in 1865 and eventually became one of the top sites engaged in overhaul, repair and restoration of carriages and wagons. .....................

Location. Varanasi city, UP>

The  specialist accountable for development of the Dufferin Bridge was Frederick Thomas Granville Walton, who ultimately became  the Engineer in Chief of the Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway organization. The extension was renamed as the Malviya Bridge in 1948 after Madan Mohan Malaviya. As the extension is close Rajghat, it is likewise privately known as Rajghat connect. Malaviya Bridge is between Kashi, Varanasi and Mughal Sarai stations; the extension is given the name Kashi Bridge, after the  near-by  city, however, is  otherwise called ''Varanasi''.. Dufferin Bridge's opening service was postponed as a result of floods. In 2016 engineers from the Northern Railway studied the safety of the old bridge and found it to be in good nick. However, the trains had to limit the sped to 30 km on the bridge.. Threat to the bridge was further reduced with the ban on the movement of heavy vehicles on the upper deck. The bridge had completed its life in 1997 and since the periodic check on the safety has to be done. The heavy vehicle movements continued despite the ban and it damaged the expansion joints on the upper deck. In 2007 and 2008 it was repaired and the heavy vehicle traffic is very much limited with the installation of heavy weight gauges.

A new bridge has been announced over the Ganga in Varanasi. The old one, they say, is close to collapse, and needs an overhaul or rest. Last year, a report mentioned that the bridge  was  in critical condition. In 2016, it had seen the infamous stampede that resulted in the death of some 20 people. With respect to Dufferin bridge, it must be strengthened at any cost and should not be abandoned after the construction of a modern bridge across the Ganges. It should be preserved for the posterity.