CM Banerjee blames bridge collapse on Metro work

The Asian Age.

Metros, Kolkata

She added, “The accident could have been a bigger one and the casualty could have been higher also.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: PTI)

Kolkata: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday pointed finger at the ongoing Joka-BBD Metro project work’s repercussions for the collpase of a portion of Majherhat Bridge in Taratola during her visit to the spot more than 24 hours after the accident as the death toll rose to two with the recovery of the body of Pranab Dey (24), a construction worker of Berhampore in Murshidabad engaged at the metro project, from the debris during search and rescue operation for the second day.

She informed that an emergency meeting has been called on Thursday in wake of the accident while announcing a compensation for the two victims' families of Rs 5 lakhs each by the state disaster management department while each of the critically injured would be given Rs 1 lakh with Rs 50,000 for those with minor injuries. Returning from Darjeeling to Kolkata by flight in the evening she went the accident site with four ministers.

Praising the rescue workers she said, “Metro railway work was underway here. Many neighbours have complained of heavy vibration during piling work as if an earthquake was taking place. People on Central Avenue and north Kolkata faced similar situation during Kolkata Metro Railway work earlier. It is practical. We do not want downplay any angle. We also do not want to deviate from the focus after certifying any angle. The Kolkata Police has lodged an FIR.”

She added, “The accident could have been a bigger one and the casualty could have been higher also. Still it will be investigated by a committee headed by the chief secretary. But it is because of the metro railway work traffic jam and waterlogging take place on the road sometimes. Lot of problems happen.” Ms Banerjee argued that documents of old bridges like the 54-year-old Majherhat one could not be traced sometimes.

In the morning joint commissioner of police (crime) P.K. Tripathy said, “A case (no. 215)  has been started at the Alipore police station under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code suo moto against unknown persons.”