South Asian Insider
20 bridges in Kolkata and Howrah past expiry dates, says Mamata Banerjee
A part of the 50-year-old Majerhat bridge’s central section caved in on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring 19. As many as 20 bridges in the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah are weak and unsafe as they are beyond their “expiry dates”, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday, announcing a ban on long trucks with “10 and 20 wheels” on such bridges. She said the bridges and flyovers such as Santragachi (Howrah), Ultadanga, Sealdah, Belgachia and Dhakuria are working “past their expiry dates.” Civil engineers said by “expiry date”, the chief minister probably meant design life that is usually 50 years for bridges. This period is calculated taking into account historic data such as earthquakes and wind speed and load projections such as rise in vehicular traffic. In a bid to prolong the lives of these structures and ensure public safety, the chief minister said the government are banning the movement of extra-long and heavy vehicles on them. “These don’t serve any purpose,” she said. She also said that police will strictly prevent the overloading of trucks. “When nine tonnes is the limit, some are plying with 15 tonnes of goods. I have asked the police to stop this practice that also put bridges under avoidable stress,” she said. The chief minister also said the bridges that have become weak were not made during their tenure. “Some of these were made during the rule of the CPI(M). Some were made even before them,” `she added. On the specific point of the Majerhat bridge, a section of which collapsed on September 4 killing three persons, she said she has set up a 10-member investigative committee led by chief secretary Malay De to inquire into the incident. The only technical person in the body is a retired chief engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD). The body is supposed to submit its report “at the shortest possible time”, possibly within seven-eight days. A bridge inspection and monitoring cell would also be set up, the members of which will be selected by the chief secretary. Banerjee repeated her claim that the construction work of metro rail near the Majerhat bridge affected the structure, and said a preliminary report by the chief engineer of PWD already indicated it. “We have decided to stop the work till the inquiry report is submitted,” said the chief minister, who also said that she cannot pinpoint the reason for the Majerhat accident till the report is submitted. However, a September 4 resport signed by A K Roy, chief project manager, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited said, “There has (been) no relationship of metro construction with this mid span failure of RCC girder of the ROB (road over-bridge). In fact, condition of pillars on both ends are a clear indication of this.” Though the chief minister claimed the Majerhat bridge was built by Kolkata Port, its spokesperson issued a statement that they don’t have any records to that effect. Opposition parties attacked Banerjee over her comments on the cause of the bridge collapse. “The chief minister is unnecessarily shifting the blame on Metro Rail for the bridge collapse, something that all experts have ruled out,” said Bharatiya Janata Party Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh. “Governments change. But that does not mean the incumbent will not continue maintenance of structures erected by earlier rulers. These are excuses by the chief minister to conceal the flaws of her own government,” said Communist Party of India (Marxist) central committee member and MLA Sujan Chakrabarty.
Constellation Healthcare Technologies Inc. Bankruptcy Case
(By a staff reporter) New York- Paul Parmar, the embattled Ex-CEO of now bankrupt Constellation Healthcare Technologies Inc, alleg...
Raj Kapoor’s priceless legacy is up for sale
When circumstances compel us to narrate tales of tragedy and mishap, even news developments can demoralise us or make us anxious. ...
Washington must address Indian concerns over the effects of its new sanctions on Iran and Russia
The US has emerged as India’s most important partner. The inaugural India-US two-plus-two ministerial dialogue will help highlight...
Trump wants to stop subsidies to India, China
Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday said he wants to stop the subsidies that growing economies like India and China ha...
Manmohan Singh says Modi govt ‘failing on all fronts’
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government of failure on all fronts, s...
Pakistan’s Military Has Quietly Reached Out to India for Talks
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Concerned about Pakistan’s international isolation and faltering economy, the country’s powerful military ha...
Saudi Plan To Dig Canal Likely To Cut Off Qatar, Turn It Into Island
Riyadh: A Saudi official hinted Friday the kingdom was moving forward with a plan to dig a canal that would turn the neighbouring ...
Some In NDA Don't Want Narendra Modi As PM Again, Says Union Minister
Some people in the National Democratic Alliance or NDA did not want Narendra Modi to be the prime minister of the country again in...
Nitish Kumar Ready To Go It Alone In Bihar, Party Insists It's BJP's Loss
PATNA:The BJP has begun testing the waters on seat-sharing with allies in Bihar ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections, claimin...
Kashmir tense as targeting families of policemen and militants has increased stakes and risks in strife-torn state
Sons and other close relatives of policemen have been abducted, while the father of a dreaded militant has been detained, over t...
© All rights Reserved. The south Asian, Published Weekly from New york.