Kolkata: In the aftermath of the Majherhat bridge collapse, the blame game has continued. Now West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that at least 20 bridges in the city and its suburbs are unsafe, said reports. Since most of them were built during the Congress and Left regime, Banerjee has tried to shift the blame, reported Zee. 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. The Majherhat bridge collapse killed three people and left at least 27 injured. (Also read: WB Asks Metro to Temporarily Stop Work)
“We have set up a high-powered investigation committee headed by Chief Secretary Malay De to look into the Majherhat incident and file a report as soon as possible. The committee will start work from today. We have also decided to form special inspection and monitoring cells under PWD, irrigation and KMDA to inspect bridges in the state under those departments,” she said at a press conference at state secretariat (Nabanna). “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,” said Banerjee.
Meanwhile, the bridge inspection and monitoring cells would inspect bridges and flyovers in the city, ban entry of 10 and 20-wheeler heavy vehicles, check overloading of vehicles to prevent recurrence of the incident, Banerjee said. She said repair work on 20 bridges and flyovers in the city will also start. The CM said that restrictions will be enforced on patchworks on bridges and flyovers. “We have asked the police to relocate people living under the bridges and flyovers. In areas where the flyovers are under the jurisdiction of the Army and the Railways, we will talk to the authorities concerned,” she was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
“We have received a report that 20 bridges and flyovers in the city are unsafe and weak. One must keep in mind that these bridges were built years back. Some of these bridges, including those in Ultadanga and Santragachi, are weak. However, we need permission from the Railways to repair these two. In Sealdah, we could not start repair work since the shopkeepers and hawkers under the bridge are unwilling to move,” she said. The meeting was attended by various departments, including Public Works Department (PWD), Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) and irrigation department. (Inputs from Pooja Mehta)