‘Act of God’ may have sounded funny when Paresh Rawal uttered it dramatically in the movie OMG – Oh My God! But it certainly sounds shameful and irresponsible when you hear it as reason of the collapse of an under-construction, dumb- designed, long-delayed flyover in the chock-full market area in BurraBazar, north Kolkata. Our grief-stricken politicians and legislators have found the culprit – the opposition party.
Here are some facts about the flyover in question Vivekananda Road Flyover in North Kolkata near Ganesh Talkies (Girish Park) and its collapse.
- It was a Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority’s (KMDA) project.
- The project’s estimated cost is 164-crores and was nearing completion.
- The foundation of the flyover was laid in 2001, the actual work started in 2008 and it wasn’t yet completed in 2016.
- The flyover comes in the jurisdiction of ward no. 23, 24 and 25, where the Councillor of ward no. 23 is from BJP and the Councillors of ward number 24 and 25 are from Trinamool Congress. Both the parties are busy blaming each other.
- The part of flyover that collapsed is just 100 meters away from the house of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
- The collapsed piece of the flyover that killed 25 and injured around 100 was anywhere between 80-100 meters long and weighed 140 tons. The toll is likely to increase.
- It is believed that the flyover collapsed due to lacunae in design, improper planning, delayed execution, poor quality of construction, instability of structure, and insufficient or faulty placements of steel girders. In short, a perfect recipe for such a collapse.
- The design of the flyover is such that it’s surrounded by 60-70 years-old residences, windows of which aren’t even full 1 foot away from the flyover.
- The rescue operation is being carried on by the specialist teams of National Disaster Response Force with the help of their specialized concrete and metal cutters, drilling machines, sensors, and sniffer dogs and by ordinary people with their bare hands.
- Debashish Boral, joint commissioner of police, Kolkata (Crime) has tweeted “The charges brought against the company include murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy among others. So far 10 people, including R K Gopal Nanduri, regional business head, have been detained.”
So, the suspensions are being done, detentions are taking place, rescue operations are being carried on and so does the task of making hundred other flyovers. Experts believe that flyovers, which are meant to solve traffic problems mostly fail to do so. More often than not, flyovers mainly shift the point of traffic congestion, become a source of corruption and in some cases become a reason for death of innocents, like in this one.
(Image source: NDTV.com)