Works to restore bridge that was washed away in 2018 begins; to be completed by May 2020
Mysore/Mysuru: The Government will renovate the Lushington Bridge at Sathegala in Kollegal, which was washed away in July 2018 rain. The two-century-old bridge built across River Cauvery near Shivanasamudra in Kollegal taluk will be repaired and conserved as a monument. Also, a new bridge will be built at cost of Rs. 200 crore as an alternative to it, said Tourism Minister C.T. Ravi.
Replying to a query by MLC Sandesh Nagaraj during Question Hour in the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Ravi said that the Tourism Department has released Rs. 95 lakh to the Commissioner of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage Department for the purpose and the remaining money will be released in stages.
Meanwhile, officials from the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage have begun work on the bridge and are targeting May this year to complete the works. Labourers from Bagalkot and surrounding areas have been working at the site since days and if weather permits, the entire stretch of the bridge will be restored and conserved by May, officials said.
The Lushington Bridge is the oldest heritage stone bridge in the erstwhile princely State of Mysore that was constructed in 1818 at Shivanasamudra near Madhyaranga across River Cauvery. It was washed away on July 17, 2018 in the gushing floodwaters of River Cauvery.
The 400-metre bridge is called the Wellesley Bridge by the locals. But historical references say that while initially the bridge was named after colonial administrator Lord Richard Colley Wellesley, it was renamed as Lushington Bridge in 1835. Also, this bridge looks similar to Wellesley Bridge at Srirangapatna.
Nearly 40 feet of the structure was washed away. The bridge, located close to Madhyaranga en route to Bharachukki falls, was considered to be an engineering marvel as it was designed in those days to withstand the force of the river even when it is in spate.
The bridge was built with hewn (cut to shape) stone pillars and connected by stone girders and erected on the rocky bed of the stream. Though two modern bridges were constructed parallel to this bridge, this stone pillar bridge stood unique and efforts will be made to restore the structure.