Kolkata: Opposition parties in West Bengal on Tuesday alleged that the Trinamool Congress-led government's "callousness towards the repair of old bridges" was the main reason behind the collapse of a portion of the Majerhat bridge.
Governor Keshav Nath Tripathi, who visited the site, described it as "a big disaster". "I have come to see the rescue work. It is a big disaster. I heard that maintenance of the bridge is entrusted with the Public Works Department (PWD) and the railways. The matter required to be inquired," he told reporters.
The over 50-year-old bridge in South Kolkata caved in around 4.45 pm during rush hour, claiming one life, trapping several people and crushing several vehicles.
"It is really unfortunate that the bridge has collapsed. But the fact is the state government is solely responsible for the bridge collapse. The issue of repair of the old bridges is not at all in the agenda of TMC government," senior BJP leader Mukul Roy said.
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury demanded an answer from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and PWD Minister Firhad Hakim. "Earlier in 2016, we had witnessed a bridge collapse (at Burrabazar). This incident proves that the state government has yet to learn its lessons. The state government should give an answer," Chowdhury said.
Reacting to the allegations, Hakim said this is not the appropriate time to indulge in "politics over the incident".
The chief minister, who is on a visit to Darjeeling, has ordered an investigation into the Majerhat bridge collapse by Chief Secretary Malay Dey. Mamata also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.
Updated Date: Sep 04, 2018 22:18 PM