Government's negligence led to Kolkata bridge collapse: BJP

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Kolkata : West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh on Thursday claimed that negligence on the part of the state government led to the partial collapse of a south Kolkata bridge and urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter instead of covering it up by bringing other issues to the fore.

Two days after a portion of south Kolkata's Majherhat bridge collapsed claiming three lives and injuring many, Banerjee on Thursday conducted a high-level meeting with the state officials including Public Works Department and said the ongoing construction work of the metro project near the bridge "created problems" which might have led to the accident.

"Most of the bridges were constructed earlier. The Kaikhali flyover leading to the Airport was constructed by CPM. She (Banerjee) has just changed the paint and showing that they had done development work. This trend of covering everything with blue and white paint must stop, only then the people will be safe," Ghosh told the reporters here.

"How did they know that the collapse is due to the vibrations of the ongoing metro work? No expert has yet mentioned it to be the cause. Just because one of the ministers had commented about the metro, she is supporting him. But this can bring no solution. I think it is an attempt to cover the actual problem and fool everyone," Ghosh claimed.

Pointing out that the ongoing work for 'East-West Metro Project' was started under the Trinamool Congress regime, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said no engineer mentioned that the metro work may damage the city bridges in any way.

Claiming that the current state government has started a culture of "temporary patchwork" on the city roads and bridges instead of going for complete repair, Ghosh said more such tragic incidents like Majherhat may happen here in the future if the government does not change its attitude.

He also alleged that the bridge collapse is the result of the state government's tendency of giving contracts to the people of the state ruling party Trinamool Congress.

"On August 15, the Chief Minister had a programme in Behala and that time all the potholes of that bridge were covered superficially with bitumen. This system of 'patchwork' started by this government had resulted in this huge accident. Had they taken action on the expert report of 2015, this mishap could have been avoided," he said.

"Similar incidents can occur again and the people of Bengal will suffer. They have been elected by the people hence they must try to find solutions," he added.