Kolkata: A day after the collapse of a portion of Majerhat bridge in the West Bengal capital, a political slugfest erupted with the opposition parties on Wednesday accusing the TMC government of “neglecting”” repair and maintenance of bridges and only painting various installations blue and white.
The Trinamul Congress, however, dubbed the allegations baseless and said the state government had taken enough steps for repair of old and new bridges, which were in a dismal condition during the Left Front rule.
A section of a 50-year-old Majerhat bridge on the arterial Diamond Harbour Road in south Kolkata collapsed Tuesday evening, snuffing out one life, trapping several people and crushing many vehicles.
Mukul Roy, a former close aide of chief minister Mamata Banejee and now a BJP leader said, “Painting the city blue and white, the favourite colours of Ms Banerjee, tops the agenda of the PWD department.
The repair and maintenance of bridges took a back seat.” “The state government and PWD department is solely responsible for the bridge collapse. The PWD minister Arup Biswas should take the responsibility,” he said.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said, “Didi (Mamata Banerjee) is dreaming of becoming prime minister and her younger brothers (TMC leaders and ministers) are looting the state in the name of syndicate business. She should keep aside her prime ministerial ambitions and pay attention to the state.”
Refuting the opposition charges, state urban development minister Firhad Hakim said the state government has taken enough steps to repair old bridges which were in a dilapidated state during the Left Front rule. “Undertaking beautification work in the city is nothing wrong and it doesn’t mean repair of bridges has been neglected. A portion of the bridge has collapsed and it is an unfortunate incident,” he said. The minister said it would be wrong to make sweeping comments on this issue to score political brownie points. “The engineers are inspecting on what actually led to the incident.” State Congress president Adhir Chowdhu-ry demanded the state government to make public a complete report on the bridges that are in poor condition.