39 days prior to Kolkata bridge collapse, Railways had warned about it

The letter is seen as an answer to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's blaming of vibrations due to Metro rail works for the collapse of Majerhat Bridge on September 4.

Published: 08th September 2018 07:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2018 12:38 AM   |  A+A-

Kolkata bridge

A section of Majerhat bridge collapsed in Kolkata Tuesday September 04, 2018. | PTI

Express News Service

KOLKATA: The Eastern Railways' missive warning the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) about the poor condition of the Majerhat bridge just 39 days prior to its collapse, was made public on Saturday.

"The condition of RCC beam which supports utilities services are not in good condition, and it requires suitable replacement in programmed manner at the earliest. You are requested for your preparedness for shifting of utilities by your end as well as the work will have to be carried out in traffic and power block of Railways," the Deputy Chief Engineer (WS) of Eastern Railways' Sealdah division wrote to the superintending engineer of south circle, GAP sector of KMDA.

"The nearby span towards Mominpur of the same ROB over existing drain found visible deflection towards Sealdah end. This needs a complete inspection from your side and necessary action thereof."

Railway officials had inspected the Majerhat Bridge on July 21.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had blamed vibrations of Metro work for the September 4 collapse that claimed three lives and injured 25 people.

Forensic experts found that tram lines were not removed from the collapsed bridge even after tram services were discontinued along the route 17 years ago. Instead, tar was layered on the tram lines which increased the weight of the bridge by around 100 kg every meter which, forensic experts believe, may be one of the reasons for the collapse.

In view of the massive traffic jams across south Kolkata, the Public Works Department has proposed to build a concrete road over the railway tracks parallel to the collapsed bridge to restore the connectivity. The Eastern Railways has agreed to the proposal and a meeting will be held at the state secretariat on Monday to finalise the works.

On Saturday, Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar said any form of goods carriers would hereafter be barred from plying on Arabinda Setu, Belgachia Setu, Bijon Setu and Tollygunge Bridge. He added that the police and the administration were working overtime to bring traffic normalcy across south Kolkata which has been facing severe traffic congestions.

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  • RAJARAMAN.V.

    Everyone existing in responsible position playing blame game. All in the administration have become useless and mind you
    10 days ago reply