Opposition blames ruling TMC for Kolkata bridge collapse

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Kolkata : The Opposition parties in West Bengal on Wednesday accused the Trinamool Congress government of a lackadaisical attitude towards maintenance of bridges in the state, a day after a portion of a South Kolkata bridge collapsed here.

The opposition accused the government of "neglecting" repair work and maintenance of bridges across the metropolis.

"She (Mamata Banerjee) is dreaming of becoming the Prime Minister but at the moment she should focus on taking care of the state. Her younger brothers (TMC leaders and ministers) are looting the state in the name of syndicate business," BJP state President Dilip Ghosh told reporters.

The Trinamool Congress, however, rubbished the allegations as baseless.

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

Mukul Roy, formerly close to Chief Minister Mamata Banejee and now a BJP leader added, "The state government and PWD department are responsible for the bridge collapse. The PWD Minister Arup Biswas should take the responsibility."

State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim retorted that 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 not 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.

On Tuesday, 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 had 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.