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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Eastern Railways had warned about the looming danger, six weeks ago.

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As the bridge investigation has accelerated, the nation is facing different aspects behind the collapse as well as the careless attitude of the involved administration.

The Majerhat bridge collapse at  Kolkata on Tuesday killed three people and left 25 people injured. It is now discovered that Eastern Railways who holds the responsibility of a section of the bridge, had already warned about the danger oscillating in a letter sent exactly six weeks ago.

The Mamta Banerjee govt has formed a special committee to inspect the reason for the collapse and to identify the agency responsible for the repair and maintenance of the bridge.

The chief bridge engineer of the Eastern Railways had written a letter to  Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) which stated the doubt for the danger looming. In the letter he highlighted the collapsed span of the bridge – technically referred to as “ROB B/11” and shared that the team had inspected the bridge on July 21 “found visible deflection towards Sealdah end” and discovered the portion which collapsed.

The letter also said, “There are locations having exposed reinforcements in deck slabs and some cracks in piers over isolated locations that require attention.”

The letter which clearly proclaimed that the danger was visible with naked eyes was addressed to the Superintendent Engineer, South Circle, GAP sector, KMDA.

Engineers who were not in the maintenance section of bridge uttered that letters should have alerted the KMDA which would have dismissed the incident.

Mamta Banerjee has assured for proper investigation and strict action against the agency responsible for the maintenance of the bridge.

The letter by  Eastern Railway letter to KMDA ascertains the lead role of it in the bridge maintenance. The KMDA falls under  Minister Firhad Hakim who named Public Works Department and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and claimed for the involvement of multiple agencies in the maintenance of the bridge.
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