A month on since the Majherhat bridge collapsed, work to dismantle is on in full-swing. Trains between Majherhat to Budge Budge were cancelled for two days to ensure no interruptions to the construction of a new level-crossing gate.
Eastern railways blocked traffic and power for 18 hours starting from 10.10pm on Saturday to 4.10pm on Sunday. The construction of new Level Crossing Gate is being done between New Alipore and Majerhat area. Accordingly, train operations also got effected on the Sealdah – Budge Budge section.
“On Saturday three Up & two Down Sealdah – Budge Budge EMU locals were cancelled while on Sunday 16 pairs of EMU locals were cancelled. As per officials it is also stated that a total of 71 EMU locals run in normal days between Sealdah & Budge Budge, while 32 EMU locals were cancelled on Sunday and five EMU locals on Saturday for construction of new Level Crossing Gate, which is absolutely essential from safety point of view,” read a statement issued by Railway. As per official sources, the work to bring down the remaining portion began on Thursday and is likely to be completed by next week.
Sources revealed two approaches will not be razed. One which is from the Burdwan road the other one is from Mint. These are the two approaches which is presently open for traffic. “There are four spans that covers the railway track on the Chetla Boat Canal and Majherhat under construction metro station which are being razed,” said a source. After the dismantling of the bridge is completed the construction will begin. The new bridge will then be combined with the approaches which are not being razed.
As per sources, PWD engineers have already begun working on the design of the new bridge. “It is too early to reveal details on this, the work to construct the new one will not begin after a month. It may take a longer time to clean the site and approve design etc”, said a source in PWD.
The middle portion of the bridge which was constructed between January 1962 to September 1964 had caved in on September 4. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had sought a report from the high-power committee and later it was decided to dismantle the bridge.
Meanwhile, the collapse of Majherhat bridge, which was a major arterial road in the area connecting the southern suburbs to other parts of the city via Behala, is expected to have some impact during the upcoming Durga Puja festival. As per sources, Behala and Majherhat routes tops the priority list of all the traffic plans and blueprints for cops preparing for Durga Puja.
Traffic sources, revealed that cops are likely to increase night surveillance in port areas during puja so that people feel safe in alternative routes.