Kolkata: The state public works department (PWD) is primarily responsible for the collapse of Majerhat road over-bridge in south Kolkata that killed three people, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said citing the findings of a probe.
The CM has also announced that the remaining portion of the collapsed bridge will be dismantled and a new bridge will be constructed at the same site within a year.
A portion of the bridge that passes over the railway tracks near Majerhat railway station had caved in on 4 September. On 6 September the CM constituted a probe panel headed by chief secretary Malay De and gave it a week’s time to furnish the preliminary report.
“CS has furnished the preliminary report despite the stiff deadline. It has come up with two findings. First, PWD came to know about the ill health of the bridge in 2016 but wasted much time in exchanging files for a repair. They should have advised some precautions like barring of heavy vehicles on the bridge, etc. but that was not done,” the CM told a news conference at Nabanna this afternoon.
She said that those responsible for the negligence will not be spared. “PWD cannot shed its responsibility. Police are investigating the case and will take action as per law. The vibration due to Metro project work also had some impact on the bridge.”
The second finding in the report, the CM said, is that it will not be wise to repair the collapsed bridge or resort to some short-term measures like constructing a Bailey bridge for the collapsed portion.
“A Bailey bridge can at best facilitate movement of small vehicles on the remaining portion of the bridge. It will still remain out of bounds for buses and lorries. Hence, it has been recommended that the bridge be dismantled and a new one constructed at the site. We have agreed to this. The bridge will be constructed within a year using modern technology that expedites the work,” she announced.
The CM and CS will be on a foreign tour from 16-28 September. Work on dismantling the bridge will start on their return.
The CM said that the state government had suspended the Metro project work at Majerhat only for a week so that the forensic team can properly investigate the collapse site. She indicated that the Metro work can resume now.