Kolkata bridge collapse: BJP holds Bengal government responsible

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Kolkata : Holding the West Bengal government responsible for the partial collapse of a bridge in south Kolkata's Majherhat that killed one and injured many, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday said the state government should immediately resign.

"It is the responsibility of state PWD department to conduct structural audits of all the bridges and flyovers and change the pairing of the old bridges in the city during the rainy season. But I think no such actions were taken. It is an example of the Bengal government's irresponsibility," BJP National General Secretary and party's observer in the state Kailash Vijayvargiya said.

"In spite of the collapse of an under-construction bridge in the city that killed many people a couple of years ago, the Bengal government did not learn any lessons from it. It is the failure of the state government. A government that cannot protect its people does not have any right to be in power," he claimed.

Part of the Majherhat Bridge between Taratala and Mominpur collapsed around 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday crushing one man to death and injuring at least 19 others while several vehicles were damaged.

State Congress President Adhir Chowdhury also accused the Mamata Banerjee regime of negligence and claimed that the tragic incident could have been averted had the state government been more careful in maintaining the 40-year-old bridge.

"It is an unfortunate incident. This is not the first bridge collapse in West Bengal. There have been a number of such instances in Posta and Ultadanga in the last few years. I think this incident would not have happened had the state government been more careful," Chowdhury said.

The under-construction Vivekananda flyover in central Kolkata's Posta area collapsed on March 31, 2016, killing 26 people while a portion of another flyover in Bidhannagar fell off in 2013.

The state CPI-M leadership termed the incident a grim reminder of the Vivekananda flyover incident and asked everyone to help in the rescue operations.

"It is a grim reminder of the Posta flyover collapse. The situation is terrible. We do not know how many people have been killed or injured in the accident. Conducting the rescue operation is the most important thing at this moment. We told our friends and party activists to rush to the spot immediately. The way everyone is helping in the rescue operations is commendable," state CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty said.

Pointing out that the bridge was not properly maintained, the left leader said that the blame game should be put aside until the rescue operation is complete.

"The rescue is still not complete. The PWD and the urban development department are blaming each other for the collapse but it is not the time for blame game. It is true that the maintenance of the bridge was not proper," he added.