A portion of an under-construction bridge collapsed in Kakdwip, South 24 Parganas district, Monday. No deaths or injured were reported.
This is the third such incident in September. Three weeks ago, part of the Majherhat Bridge gave way in Kolkata, leaving three dead and many injured. On September 7, an old bridge had collapsed near Siliguri in North Bengal, leaving a truck driver injured.
A senior government official said the collapse took place early Monday morning and work has begun to remove the debris. Engineers had also been sent to ascertain the cause of the collapse.
State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters at the state secretariat that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will review the condition of bridges and flyovers in the state, including those under construction, once she returns from Europe on September 27.
“She is getting updates about the situation at regular intervals…she will seek the opinion of experts on ways to overcome weakness in the structural pattern of bridges, and evaluate the experience of contractors who are given the job of constructing them. We will examine why a portion of the bridge collapsed,” Chatterjee said.
Sources said that the government had got an FIR registered against the contractor. However, the same is yet to be confirmed from the police.
Political parties trained their guns at the government for its “failure” to provide infrastructure. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “It is nothing new. Every now and then, a bridge is collapsing in the state. It has become a trend in West Bengal. This shows the true picture of the state,” Ghosh said.
Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury said, “The syndicate system of TMC decides which contractor will get the job…This profits TMC leaders. As a result, able contractors miss out from such opportunities. Moreover, the government does not pay any attention to maintenance of bridges and repair work is hardly initiated. The infrastructure here is the victim of the government’s corruption.”
CPM leader Samik Lahiri said, “An organised loot is going on…”