Setting up bridge inspection, monitoring cells: Bengal CM

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Kolkata : Two days after a portion of a bridge collapsed here, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said bridge inspection and monitoring cells under different departments will be set up to expedite their check-up.

She said a preliminary report by the Public Works Department suggested that the ongoing Metro rail construction work created problems that led to the collapse of the Majerhat bridge portion on Tuesday afternoon, which killed three persons and injured 19 others.

"I heard the Majerhat bridge was built by the Kolkata Port Trust and handed over to the PWD. A high-powered committee led by Chief Secretary Malay De has already been set up to investigate the collapse. The committee will take opinion of technical experts and evaluate the PWD report as well.

"Bridge inspection and monitoring cells under departments like the PWD, Irrigation, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) are being set up," she said at state Secretariat Nabanna.

Banerjee held a meeting with officials of the PWD, KMDA and other departments.

The Chief Minister said the Metro Rail Authority had been asked to stop construction work temporarily near the collapse site until the PWD report is evaluated and surveys conducted.

"The 20-wheel truck trailers will not be allowed to ply on bridges and police had been directed to ensure this. For heavy containers, rail and inland water transport can be thought of," she said.

"A total of 20 bridges across cities and suburbs were found to have outlived their life. Repairs will be taken up without waste of time," Banerjee said.