The second-largest railway overbridge in India, in Burdwan, West Bengal, will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Railway Suresh Angadi on 27 September, officials said. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who is in the US, will be available on video conference.
Goyal was scheduled to inaugurate the bridge on 30 September, a day after his return.
However, the local administration inaugurated it despite an announcement from the Union ministry that Goyal would be doing the honours.
The Burdwan four-lane cable-stayed railway overbridge (RoB) was completed in 197 days without affecting traffic for even a day, officials added.
Work on the 188.43-metre cable-stayed RoB started in 2012. Apart from featuring 1.5 metre-wide footpaths on both sides, it has 27.7 metres of width to accommodate four-lane vehicular traffic.
The bridge was completed with 50:50 sharing between the Ministry of Railways and the Trinamool Congress-led state government and will now see two inaugurations.
The Rs 300 crore bridge was inaugurated in the presence of state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee on Tuesday, a day after the Union ministry declared Goyal would cut the ribbon on 30 September, according to media reports.
And another inauguration ceremony could be on the cards to reflect its twin ownership, officials said.
Lashing out at the Mamata Banerjee government, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said it was the state government's effort at one-upmanship over the Centre.
"It is actually quite ridiculous when state minister Subrata Mukherjee goes ahead and inaugurates the incomplete hanging railway bridge of Bardhaman just before the railway minister was scheduled to do so. Didi (Mamata) should resist the temptation of getting into this thoughtless rat race of ribbon cutting and focus on competing in terms of completed development projects. This only can put Paschim Banga on the true trajectory of progress and development," he tweeted.
Angadi told reporters that the incident was "unfortunate" as state government officials were also invited to be part of the inauguration.
"For the interest of the people of Bengal, I request the Mamata government not to play politics on such issues of development," he said.
The planning, official processes and implementation of the RoB progressed over eight years in Burdwan Junction of the Eastern Railway, one of the country's future fast track models passing over the busy railway yards accommodating 10 tracks, they said.
It encountered many issues along the way, including the restriction of a maximum height of the road surface clearances and busy movement of rolling stocks over the yard, the officials said.
The RoB connects Burdwan town with the two sub-divisions of Kalna and Katwa and is on the Howrah–Bardhaman mainline.
With inputs from PTI.
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Updated Date: Sep 26, 2019 13:56:33 IST