March 31, 2016 and September 4, 2018; will remain etched in the memory of all Calcuttains.
Two sad incidents bridge the dates together.
Reports confirmed that a part of Majerhat bridge in West Bengal Kolkata, connecting South Kolkata with southern most Kolkata, collapsed on Tuesday evening around 4.30 pm.
It left atleast four dead and several injured, till the report was filed, but no trapped bodies were found under the debris, said an official statement.
The injured are being treated in PG, CMRI and Alipore army hospitals.
On of the deceased was recognised as a youth from Behala Silpara area, a place situated in Southern most Kolkata.
When incident occurred he was passing by the place on his two wheeler said police.
National Disaster Response Force deployed at the place confirmed that no trapped body were found, dead or alive.
Five team of NDRF and 200 personnel are deployed at the spot. A source confirmed that three column of army jawan has been kept on stand by.
However, no official requisition was made till now, but they will rush if called, opined an officer.
After hearing about the incident Chief Minister of the state Mamata Banerjee said, “We are very worried. Our main concern is the rescue operations. That will be done on emergency basis. I wanted to fly back to Kolkata. But due to unavailability of flight I could not manage.”
Meanwhile, West Bengal government announced compensation for the deceased (Rs 1 lakh) and wounded people (Rs 50 thousands each).
The collapse of a part of a bridge in Kolkata is deeply unfortunate. My thoughts are with the families of the victims. I pray that those who are injured recover at the earliest.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 4, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted and expressed his concern for the injured people.
State’s Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim speaking from the incident place said that 19 people have been rescued from the debris, and they have been shifted to the nearest hospital for treatment.
Until the rescue team reached the spot many persons and vehicles were trapped under the debris. But after rescue operation started all have been cleared.
An eye-witnessed confirmed that some passengers in a mini bus and small vehicles were trapped under the debris.
This led to major discontinuation of smooth traffic and rail connectivity.
Some parts of the bridge is situated upon Sealdah to Budgebudge bound railway link.
Furthermore, because of security, traffic and rail service were curtailed for 3-4 hours from the time the incident occured.
But after all this, the citizens forum is now asking whose fault is this? Who ignored the major safety measure of the five decades old bridge? Some officials from PWD said that Railway is the prime maintenance authority of the bridge, but railway denied their responsibility and pushed it upon PWD.
But the question is that though the bridge had got fit certificate six months before, in spite of that how it could collapsed?
The same happened two years ago when a part of the under constructed fly over collapsed at Posta area of Kolkata.
That incident had seen many life loss and injuries.