Siliguri / Kolkata: A flyover, being constructed by a reputed construction firm under the aegis of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), on the outskirts of Siliguri collapsed today.
The incident happened around 3.40 am due to which no injuries were caused to anyone. But the collapsed portion of the flyover had to be lifted away to clear the road.
The flyover is being constructed over National Highway 31D at Phansidewa, some 20-km from Siliguri town. Private construction giant L&T Ltd has been constructing the flyover with a contract from the NHAI under East-West Corridor running from Gujarat to Silchar.
According to people living in the vicinity, the heard a huge crashing sound in the wee hours but did not venture out of fear. At daybreak, they found some 25-metre long portion of the under-construction flyover had caved in.
It is the four girders between two piers of the flyover that had caved in: one of the collapsed girders rolled over to NH 31D, blocking vehicular movements partially. Later in the day police engaged a crane and lifted back the girder near the flyover.
Peeved at the incident, residents of the area blocked the road for a while saying that had the mishap happened during day hours several local people would have died. They alleged that poor quality of construction is the reason behind the collapse.
Darjeeling district magistrate Joyoshi Das Gupta has ordered a probe into the mishap and said that she has spoken to NHAI officials over this. A site engineer of L&T said that they will carry out a detailed analysis to find out the reason for the cave in.
An expert based in Kolkata said on conditions of anonymity said that it appears to be a case of faulty design.
“Had it been due to poor quality construction materials, the girders standing on nearby piers should have also collapsed. My take is that it will be dangerous to try a patchwork without looking into the design aspects,” he said.