KOLKATA: Thousands of people residing in the south-western suburbs and vast areas of South 24 Parganas district faced travel woes Wednesday owing to closure of the arterial Diamond Harbour Road after Tuesday's collapse of a section of the Majerhat Bridge, the police said.
A traffic police officer said vehicles, that usually move to and from the city through Majerhat Bridge, have been diverted through various other roads.
A section of the over 50-year-old Majerhat Bridge on Diamond Harbour Road in south Kolkata collapsed Tuesday, snuffing out one life, trapping several people and crushing many vehicles.
Traffic snarls were reported at various points in the morning in the south-western parts as diversions in both direction were imposed leading to pressure on these roads.
Train movement below the Majerhat Road Over Bridge (ROB) in the Sealdah-Budge Budge section was normal, Eastern Railway spokesman R N Mahapatra said.
"Train services of Circular Railway from Dum Dum to Majerhat also resumed this morning," he said.
However, services in the Circular Railway portion of railway track between New Alipore and Majerhat stations that passes under the bridge is temporarily suspended, he said.
"A team of railway engineers headed by Chief Bridge Engineer, experts from RITES are visiting the site to ensure safety of rail service at the affected area of Majerhat Bridge," Mahapatra said.
A signal post on the Circular Railway track, adjacent to the Sealdah-Budge Budge line, has been damaged by the debris of the collapsed bridge, the ER spokesman said Tuesday.
Eastern Railway had stopped movement of trains on these lines Tuesday following the collapse of the bridge as a precautionary measure.
Services on the Sealdah-Budge Budge section resumed 9 pm Tuesday.
The closure of a part of the arterial Diamond Harbour Road that connects the city to the shores of Bay of Bengal at Frazerganj over 120 km away, linking many hamlets and towns, would affect thousands of people travelling to work, schools and colleges, and other purposes.
Patients from these places travelling to hospitals in the city would also have to face the woes of travelling a longer distance until the bridge is restored.
West Bengal Transport Principal Secretary B P Gopalika said that additional state buses have been pressed into service to mitigate the problems being faced by the people in these areas.
"Wherever there will be need for more buses, we will provide," he said.
Traffic police officials said that vehicles, including buses, are being diverted via Kidderpore, CGR Road to Taratala as also through Judges Court Road and also from Diamond Park in far south, as per the requirements.
People travelling from the southern district and suburbs to the city for work in the morning had to leave early to reach on time.
"I am now trying to chalk out a proper route to reach my destination since this situation is likely to continue for months till the bridge is repaired and normal traffic movement is restored through Diamond Harbour Road," said Jayanta Mukherjee, a resident of Thakurpukur area, who travels to his workplace at Park Circus in the city daily.
Oishiki Mukherjee, who travels to her college at Park Street from Behala, said the longer distance and excess travel time that may continue for months, will impact her studies.
"I only hope the bridge is repaired and the road is restored as early as possible," said Sailendu Rakshit, another resident of the south-western suburbs.