Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government was warned about the dilapidated condition of Majerhat Bridge over a month back, a report citing a letter by the Eastern Railways claimed on Friday. The collapse of bridge on Tuesday resulted in the death of three persons and injury to 27 others.
“The condition of the RCC beam which supports utilities services are not in good condition and it requires suitable replacement in programmed manner at earliest,” the Eastern Railways authority stated in its letter to Kolkata Municipal Development Authority (KMDA). (Also read: WB Asks Metro to Temporarily Stop Work)
The letter dated July 27, 2018 warned that “the nearby span towards Mominpur of the same ROB over existing drain found visible deflections towards the Sealdah end. This needs a complete inspection from your side and necessary action thereof”.
Meanwhile on Thursday, CM Mamata Banerjee said that at least 20 bridges in the city and its suburbs are unsafe. After an emergency meeting with various departments on Thursday, she also refused to admit that the PWD was in charge of maintenance of the Majherhat bridge and said a committee headed by the Chief Secretary would probe the incident. Bridges and flyovers such as Santragachi, Ultadanga, Sealdah, Belgachia and Dhakuria are working “past their expiry dates”, she reportedly said.
Furthermore, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief said that the Metro Railways has been asked to stop work near Majherhat bridge till the committee probing its collapse submits its report. “Residents have complained of vibrations during the construction work. It could also be one of the reasons. However, the panel will probe the role of both the PWD as well as the Metro construction authorities,” Banerjee added.
Besides, engineering consultancy company RiTES, a day after the bridge collapse, submitted a preliminary report to the Railways in which it said that the reason behind the Majerhat Bridge collapse could be poor maintenance and improper surface repair.