Taking note on bridge collapsing incident in the state, West Bengal chief minister Mamata declared almost 20 bridges in the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah have past expiry dates and are unsafe. Banerjee also directed to ban on long trucks with “10 and 20 wheels” on such bridges. However, hours after her announcement, A canal bridge in Siliguri's Phansidewa collapsed early morning on Friday.
Mamata Banerjee said the bridges and flyovers such as Santragachi (Howrah), Ultadanga, Sealdah, Belgachia and Dhakuria are working “past their expiry dates.”
Meanwhile, the Civil engineers said by “expiry date”, the chief minister probably meant design life that is usually 50 years for bridges.
She also said that police will strictly prevent the overloading of trucks. “When nine tonnes is the limit, some are plying with 15 tonnes of goods. I have asked the police to stop this practice that also put bridges under avoidable stress,” she said. “These don’t serve any purpose,” she said. “Some of these were made during the rule of the CPI(M). Some were made even before them,” `she added.
However, a September 4 report signed by A K Roy, chief project manager, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited said, “There has (been) no relationship of metro construction with this mid-span failure of RCC girder of the ROB (road over-bridge). In fact, the condition of pillars on both ends is a clear indication of this.”
While, attacking TMC government Bharatiya Janata Party Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh said, “the chief minister is unnecessarily shifting the blame on Metro Rail for the bridge collapse, something that all experts have ruled out.”