Plea to save Vintage Dorabavi Viaduct

The controversy over the proposal of selling iron scrap at Godavari Rail Bridge by Railway authorities is an indication of the negligence of protecting monumental old structures.

Likewise, the recent shape of Dorabavi viaduct, a great engineering monument, built during the British period in 1887, is being remembered in Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh.  The exclusive bridge Dorabavi viaduct was engineering monument in the South Central Railway, situated on the Nandyal- Giddalur Railway section. The serene forest location of the bridge, on the Nallamala Hills, of the Rayalseema region, had its own exotic aura as a picnic spot.

This viaduct had great historic back ground as British engineers did awesome work and opened the metre gauge traffic in the year 1887, in between Goad-Machilipatnam. Deep gorges of Nallamala forest and hillock regions were connected through the above bridge.Nearly 420 tons of steel was procured from the Burming Ham Steel Industry, in Briton. The Railway authorities had also dug a well named Dorala Bavi to mitigate drinking water for the British rulers during their halts.

However, the 110-year old bridge continued to be a great picnic spot for the tourists though it was discontinued due to the construction of an alternative route as part of gauge conversion between Nandyal and Giddalur.Mercilessly, the Railways had sold out the monument as scrap for just Rs. 4 crore two years ago and the Doravri Bridge was destroyed for Iron scarp. Presently, a shape less structure stands at the spot.

The Railways were allegedly planning to dismantle the bridge by selling the scarp at the first Godavari Rail Bridge, which was built in 1897, under the supervision of a British Engineer, Walton, across the river Godavari, near Rajahmundry.

Stretching for three kilometres, constructed with stone masonry and steel girders, this bridge served the trains plying on Chennai – Howrah, Hyderabad-Howrah and Guntakal-Howrah sections. Since the bridge outlived its service by serving for more than 100 years, train services on this bridge was suspended from the year 1997.

Today, the first Godavari Bridge still stands as a monument, a manifestation of human endeavour and skill. Nature lovers seek that at least the Godavari Bridge should be preserved as it exists.