Metro Vibrations May Have Caused Majerhat Bridge Collapse, Says Mamata as Death Toll Rises to 3
Banerjee made the statement after presiding over a high-level meeting at the state secretariat on the bridge collapse in Majerhat that claimed the lives of three people.
File photo of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said as many as 20 bridges in Kolkata and Howrah are weak and unsafe as they are beyond their “expiry dates”. She said bridges and flyovers such as Santragachi, Ultadanga, Sealdah, Belgachia and Dhakuria are working “past their expiry dates.”
Banerjee made the statement after presiding over a high-level meeting at the state secretariat on the bridge collapse in Majerhat on Tuesday that claimed the lives of three people.
Rescue workers on Thursday recovered another body from the debris of the collapsed Majerhat bridge in south Kolkata, taking the toll in the mishap to three, a police official said.
The body was identified as that of Goutam Mondal (45), a labourer from Murshidabad district who was missing along with another labourer Pranab Dey since the accident on Tuesday, he said.
Mondal was working as a cook for the Metro rail project going on adjacent to the Majerhat bridge, he said.
After Mondal's body was found, NDRF personnel left the spot.
"We are closing our operations as it seems there is nobody stuck inside," an official of the NDRF said.
Banerjee told reporters that the rescue operation was complete. She said the Metro Railways has been asked to stop its work at Majerhat temporarily till a committee headed by Chief Secretary Moloy Dey gives its report within a week.
Noting that the Metro railway had been working there for the last nine years, she said, "The piling work caused big vibration. It might have affected the bridge. The high-powered committee will look into it".
“I am only saying that Metro vibrations may have caused some damage, I am not saying they are responsible. Let the committee investigate. How could metro authorities say so quickly they weren't responsible, did they conduct proper investigation?” she asked.
Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, executing the construction of the Joka-BBD Bag metro corridor which passes through the vicinity of Majherhat bridge, had said on Tuesday "there is no relationship of Metro construction" with the incident.
The Kolkata Police on Thursday constituted a special investigation team to probe the bridge collapse, a senior police officer said.
The detective department of the police has taken up the investigation, he said.
As part of the investigation, the sleuths have recorded statements of the witnesses, he said.
The bridge in Alipore area runs over the Majerhat Railway station and connects the city centre with the heavily-populated Behala, vast areas of the south west suburbs and neighbouring South 24 Parganas district.
With the arterial Diamond Harbour Road closed after the bridge collapse and less number of buses plying, thousands of commuters were stuck in huge traffic jams since morning.
"We have diverted vehicles to and from the city through various other roads," an officer of Kolkata Police traffic department said.
The police have lodged a suo motu case against unknown persons in connection with their involvement in the collapse.
This is the third bridge collapse in the city since 2013.
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