Every time Piyush Rastogi, his wife Archana and son Vyom look out of their window, they get terrified. A foot away from their house on Kali Krishna Tagore street, huge blocks of rusting iron and concrete hang precariously and remind them of the afternoon of March 31, 2016.
Like Rastogi, hundreds of people are living life on the edge at Girish Park, Posta and Ganesh Taklies area, reminded everday of a looming danger above their heads — the under-construction Vivekananda Flyover portion, which collapsed on March 31, 2016, killing 27 and injuring 80.
As the state government is yet to take a decision on dismantling the bridge, which brushes shoulders with buildings in North Kolkata for about half a kilometer, residents say a disaster is waiting to happen and the government is yet to heed their pleas. The Majherhat bridge collapse has only added to their panic and fear. Many of the families in the area have lost loved ones in the 2016 collapse.
Local business owners also said that their sales had dropped by up to 50 per cent, as many customers avoid visiting the area. A look at the bridge reveals its dilapidated condition. Beams have rusted and parts of the concrete over the iron beams have started falling down. Under it, cars, buses, rickshaws and some people are seen. In most parts under the bridge, parking lots have mushroomed, which locals claim are illegal.
According to state government sources, it is yet to decide on whether to dismantle the structure or start building on it once again. After the cave in, a report by an IIT-Kharagpur team identified portions of the bridge as unsafe because of poor design, material and workmanship. A committee led by the then chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee suggested complete dismantling of the structure. According to state secretariat sources, the cost of dismantling alone is estimated to be Rs 100 crore.
One more Body found
Kolkata: Following overnight rescue operations, body of one of two missing labourers was recovered from the collapsed portion of the Majherhat bridge on Wednesday, taking the total toll to two. The man was identified as Pranab De (24), a resident of Murshidabad. On Tuesday, 21-year-old Soumen Bag was killed and 25 others were injured in the accident. Rescue and search operations are on to recover another missing labourer. (ENS)
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