1 hurt as another bridge collapses in WB

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Sep 2018 10:23:32




AN OLD bridge collapsed near Siliguri in North Bengal on Friday, leaving a truck driver injured, a State Minister said. This is the second incident of bridge collapse in the State in three days. The Majherhat Bridge collapsed in South Kolkata on September 4, killing three persons and injuring 24.The middle portion of the structure near Siliguri collapsed on a canal below at around 9.30 am when a truck was crossing it and the vehicle is stuck in the broken portion of the bridge.

The bridge connects Manganj and Phansidewa areas to Siliguri, a major city in North Bengal. Phansidewa is around 22 km from Siliguri. “The movement of loaded trucks is banned on this bridge but many such vehicles bound for North-Eastern States continue to take that bridge. This accident is a result of that,”

North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh said.He said this bridge was constructed long back and papers of the structure are not available. Repair work of the bridge will be undertaken after the PWD prepares a report, he said.

Tourism Minister Gautam Deb said the bridge was maintained by the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (a sub-divisional body), run by the CPI(M)-led Left Front. “I will report to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” Deb said. Engineers and State Government officials have rushed to the spot.

Senior CPI(M) leader of Darjeeling district Jibesh Sarkaraccused the Trinamool Congress Government and the district administration of  ignoring repeated pleas to repair the bridge. “We had informed the State and the local administration that it needs to be repaired. But as it is a Left-run Mahakuma Parishad, funds were not released by the Government,” Sarkar told ‘PTI’.

The Chief Minister on Thursday said nationwide survey of bridges should be undertaken. She said there are 20 bridges in and around Kolkata which have crossed their expiry dates.