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Repair Warnings for Majerhat Bridge Ignored, Mamata Says It is 54 Years Old, Papers Untraceable

Calling it an “unfortunate” incident, Mamata Banerjee said she has god to thank for the causalities were less.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:September 5, 2018, 10:48 PM IST
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Repair Warnings for Majerhat Bridge Ignored, Mamata Says It is 54 Years Old, Papers Untraceable
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses the media on Majerhaut bridge collapse during her visit to the area in Kolkata on Wednesday. Chief Secretary Malay Dey is also seen. (PTI Photo)
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Kolkata: A day after the collapse of Majerhat bridge in Kolkata, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reached the site of the accident to oversee the rescue work. Banerjee had gone to Darjeeling on a three-day visit and was unable to take a flight out on Tuesday.

The chief minister said she would call an “emergency” meeting on Thursday of ministers and senior officials to chalk out plans so that such incidents are not repeated. The bridge collapse, which has claimed the lives of two people, was the third such accident in six years.

Calling it an “unfortunate” incident, she said she has god to thank for the causalities were less.

“The bridge was 54-years old. Tomorrow, I will have an emergency meeting at 3.30 PM with concerned officials to discuss monitoring of rest of the flyovers and bridges. The tracing of papers of old bridges and flyovers becomes a problem. Most of them are untraceable,” she said.

Her statement came after it emerged that state-run engineering and consultancy agency RiTES had in 2016 warned the West Bengal government on the precarious condition of several bridges in the city, including the Majerhat structure, but no action was taken.

After the collapse of the Vivekanada flyover in the city in March 2016, the state government had mandated Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RiTES) to survey the conditions of different bridges in Kolkata, an official said.

The report has given the BJP ammunition to target the government. BJP MP Roopa Ganguly, who visited the site on Wednesday, held the Trinamool Congress-led state government responsible for the collapse and alleged that the bridge was not maintained properly.

Mamata, meanwhile, also announced Rs 5 Lakh will be given to those who were killed, Rs 1 Lakh for those who were critically injured and Rs 50,000 for minor injuries.

She said the state would also reward the rescue workers and thanked the police and national disaster response force for their efforts.

On Tuesday, around 4.40 PM a portion of the arterial Majherhat Bridge that connects Alipore with Taratala and Behala area had collapsed. So far, two people - Soumen Bag and Pranab Dey – have been confirmed dead and one person is missing. At least 20 people were also injured.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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