Millennium Post

Eight flyovers to be repaired by Durga Puja

Kolkata: The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) and other government agencies will repair eight flyovers in the city before Durga Puja, officials said on Saturday.

The busy Chingrighata, Kalighat and Sealdah flyovers are among the eight flyovers. Chingrighata and Kalighat flyovers have been shut for heavy vehicles. A second round of inspection will decide the extent of repairs of the eight bridges.

The decision comes after the Bridge Inspection and Monitoring Cell recently submitted a report on these bridges. The panel, which includes experts from state Public Works Department, Irrigation Department and KMDA, was formed in the wake of the Majerhat Bridge collapse in Kolkata, killing three people and injuring several others in September in 2018.

Chingrighata and Kalighat flyovers will soon be completely shut for repairs and KMDA will request police to draw up traffic diversions, said a KMDA source.

The condition of a pillar of Chingrighata flyover, which connects south Kolkata's EM Bypass to Salt Lake, needs immediate repairs, the source said. The Chingrighata flyover suffers from design defects, the source added.

Last year, structural engineers of KMDA were asked to rectify the defects. The repair work for both the flyovers are likely to take place this month.

Experts found that pillars of Kalighat flyover had corroded. Last month, it was shut for two days for health assessment. At the time, they had raised questioned over its internal structure.

KMDA has also planned to install height bars on both sides to restrict heavy vehicles from using the flyover.

"The process of health audit of these flyovers are already in place. In the first phase, eight flyovers will be examined and after conducting health audit necessary repair work will be done before Puja. A few flyovers will also go through load capacity test," said a KMDA official, who didn't want to be named.

Sealdah flyover, which was earlier identified as vulnerable, will also go through a similar test. As per officials, it will be shut for three days from August 15. Experts will also examine the load capacity of Aurobindo Setu and Bijon Setu. In the second phase, Dhakuria bridge, Chetla Lock Gate bridge, Karunamoyee bridge over Tolly's Nullah, Chitpur bridge over the railway yard, Canal bridge near RG Kar Hospital, etc will undergo similar health audits.

Three weeks ago, part of Ultadanga flyover was shut for three days after the panel found that it had developed cracks for repairs. The other flank (EM Bypass bound) of the bridge is still shut for traffic.

"There are several flyovers and bridges in and near Kolkata that have aged. All these need to undergo audits and repair work. The safety of commuters is of utmost importance. We don't want to take any chance. After a thorough repair and load-bearing-capacity check of flyovers which are damaged will be marked safe," said an official from the monitoring cell.

Before the September tragedy, no study was undertaken to check the structural stability of bridges in Kolkata.

(With inputs from Indian Express)

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