Kolkata: Four months before the Majherhat bridge collapse, West Bengal Public Works Department (PWD) had floated a tender document for the repair work of the bridge.
PWD floated the tender in April to sublet the work for which it had invited quotations from companies for the repairs, refurbishing and maintenance of the bridge. According to the notice, issued by the Alipore Division, the State government had allocated Rs 16,18,181 for “Surface repairing of Taratala Fly over, Majerhat Bridge and D H Road from 13.205 km to 14.486 km Western flank during the year 2018-19.”
According to information sourced from PWD, the work was supposed to begin in August and end within six to seven months from the day of commencement. The notice read: “The work is URGENT in nature and agency entrusted for it shall have to complete the work within stipulated time without any failure.” However, sources said that the work on the bridges could not begin as the project did not take off.
A section of the bridge in south Kolkata crashed down on Tuesday killing two people and injuring two others.
Speaking on the mishap, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that the locals living in the area had alleged that they felt earthquake-like vibrations, which were on account of the metro railway piling work. However, she did not exactly say that the bridge collapsed due to the metro work.
Earlier, West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi said that PWD and railway administration should be held responsible for the incident. “Bridge deserved better maintenance. There was a report on a pit here for quite some time, I don’t know whether PWD noted it. PWD and railway administration had the responsibility to maintain it. Matter requires investigation,” he had said on Tuesday.
The Alipur police station on Wednesday registered a suo motu case against unknown responsible persons (maintenance agency) in connection with the incident.
Deputy Commissioner (south) Meeraj Khalid said the case was registered under Sections 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (causing the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act), 427 (causing damage to property) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).