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Black Bridge to be renamed after Sam Manekshaw

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Imposing landmark: The Black Bridge at Wellington near Coonoor. —
Imposing landmark: The Black Bridge at Wellington near Coonoor. —

D. Radhakrishnan

It links Ooty – Coonoor highway with renowned defence establishments

Udhagamandalam: A new look bridge with a new name at Wellington near Coonoor will soon be thrown open to the public.

Bearing the name ‘Black Bridge’, the facility connecting the Udhagamandalam – Coonoor highway with the renowned defence establishments like the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) and the Madras Regimental Centre (MRC) at Wellington, which was over a hundred years old, had become very weak.

Concrete

Originally made of wood, it had several decades ago been converted into a concrete bridge. It had been closed a few years ago.

Since the bridge had for long also been the main route to many villages and some tourist spots, its prolonged closure had become a major source of concern to the people.

Following a number of representations made to the Defence Ministry, a sum of Rs. 1.65 crore had been sanctioned to the Military Engineering Service (MES) and work on repairing the bridge had commenced during November 2007.

Having announced that the work would be completed in about a year, the black bridge now presents a pretty look.

Defence sources told The Hindu that it was likely to be inaugurated on March 9 by the Commandant, DSSC, Lt.General H.P.S.Klair.

It will be renamed Sam Manekshaw bridge after the Field Marshal who died at the Military Hospital in Wellington last year.

With Coonoor occupying a soft corner in the heart of the Field Marshal, he had decided to settle down in the hill station after retiring from the army.

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