Massive traffic jams due to bridge collapse
The eastern metropolis is encountering massive traffic jams across the southern suburbs due to traffic detours as a result of the collapse of the Majerhat Bridge that connected central Kolkata with this part of the city. The traffic congestions are worse during the office hours. As a result of this, many commuters are leaving for work earlier than they used to. Kolkata Traffic sergeants are also having a harrowing time in managing the traffic through the detour routes. However, commuters are trying their best to understand the emergency and trying to maintain discipline on the roads.
Central Kolkata fears Metro work
After West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee indirectly blamed vibrations from Metro rail works for the bridge collapse, residents, officer-goers and commuters in central Kolkata are fearful of the ongoing tunnel boring operation. Work is on for the East-West Metro rail that will connect the Howrah railway station with the IT hub at Sector V of Salt Lake. While construction of the Salt Lake-Sealdah phase and the Howrah-Esplanade phase are over, the ongoing tunnel boring from Esplanade to Sealdah station is a critical stage. This line passes through areas that have many old building deemed dangerous to live in. Residents fear the vibrations will further weaken the structures and make them vulnerable to collapse.
Focus on old bridges
One of the major fallouts of the Majerhat collapse is the vehicular pressure on bridges such as Durgapur, Kalighat and Brace Bridges that fall on the detour routes. All these bridges are as old as the Majerhat one. Many commuters fear that the rush of vehicles plying on these bridges put them at risk. Some are cautious while crossing these bridges. After the Majerhat Bridge collapse, several media outlets have pointed out the bad condition of these detour bridges which has increased anxiety among the people, who are helpless, as these bridges are the only links to cross the canals and railway lines in the southern parts of the city.
Durga Puja preparations begin
Despite the Majerhat tragedy, Kolkatans have a reason to smile: Durga Puja is nearing. Donation collections and order for Durga Puja idols from Kumartuli have begun. The Durga Puja committees are meeting every evening after office hours to discuss and plan for the much-awaited festival beginning October 15. At the bigger and expensive Durga Pujas, construction of pandals have already begun. Artisans are being sourced from across West Bengal. With the annual festival generating big business and occupying a major spot in Bengali social and cultural calendar, the Durga Puja preparations are somewhat acting as a distraction from the bridge collapse’s impact.
Our correspondent in West Bengal