In the wake of the Majerhat bridge collapse in which a huge section of the bridge came down during peak traffic hours, the West Bengal public works department (PWD) has identified seven bridges in the city as "most vulnerable" and those require urgent repairs. The seven bridges are out of the 20, which, the PWD has classified as "distressed" structures.
"Load-bearing capacities of these bridges were carried out and depending on that report, we have suggested to the police to impose restriction on goods-carrying vehicles to prevent further deterioration of the condition of the distressed structures," he said.
The Kolkata Police has already banned movement of all goods vehicles on the first four bridges and is exploring the possibility whether a similar decision can be taken for the remaining ones. However, overloaded vehicles are still plying on the bridges, especially at night, leading to traffic snarls following which the trucks are stranded on the structures which might lead to another mishap, the PWD official said.
The PWD is preparing a detailed budget and a plan for immediately taking up the repair work of the seven bridges, the official informed.
The department is also carrying out the inspection of the remaining 13 bridges, including Dhakuria bridge, Tallah bridge, Sukanta Setu and Santragachchi bridge, following which they will either be labeled as "vulnerable or relatively safe".
"Inspection is being carried to test the load-bearing capacity of Dhakuria bridge and Tallah bridge so that a decision can be taken on the type of vehicles whose movement may be restricted," the PWD official said.
A section of the bridge in South Kolkata collapsed on September 4, killing at least one person, and injuring almost two dozen others. The collapse took place in the afternoon when a huge section of the bridge came down during peak traffic hours. The first visuals of the collapsed bridge showed a section of the flyover having cleanly collapsed, with the vehicles that were likely on it at that time that it fell still on hand. Six fire engines were immediately rushed to the location. The Kolkata Police Commissioner also rushed to the spot, even as roads leading to the bridge were cordoned off. Majerhat bridge serves as a railway overbridge near the Majerhat railway station. The bridge connects Alipore to Behala, Taratalla and Chetla.
Furious netizens on Wednesday hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and sternly told her that 'she needs to run her own state' after a video of her watching a dance performance in Darjeeling a day after the Majerhat bridge collapse went viral. Mamata Banerjee was attending an event on the occasion of Teachers Day, while rescue operations were underway.