Govt to build bridge on Bhagirathi river in Burdwan
Kolkata: The state government will come up with a new bridge on river Bhagirathi, connecting Kalna in Burdwan with Shantipur in Nadia district. It was in this route that a boat had capsized in May 2016, where around 20 people had died and the local residents had been vocal, demanding a bridge over the river.
The work for the construction of the bridge will be taken up by the Public Works Department (PWD). A meeting was held in this matter at the state secretariat Nabanna on Tuesday, in presence of the Principal Secretary of PWD Indeevar Pandey and other senior officials of the department, where a power point presentation on the proposed project was made.
The length of the bridge, including the approach area, will be 2 km and a preliminary budget of Rs 700 crore has been allocated for the bridge, as well as a railway over-bridge that will come up adjacent to the proposed bridge.
After construction of the bridge, the railway tracks and this bridge will have the same look as the Bally bridge, with the road and rail service side-by-side. The bridge will serve as a fast link to Shantipur, Tribeni, Kalna and Katwa by roadways.
It has been learnt that the study for the bridge will be done by the engineers of the PWD department themselves and it will be constructed by following the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) model.
It may be mentioned that thousands of people commute daily by ferry service to travel from Kalna Ghat to Nrishingapur Ghat in Nadia and due to tremendous rush of passengers, overloading has been an area of concern.
The state government, after the boat mishap, has taken stringent measures to put a leash on carrying passengers beyond capacity, but still the practice has not been eliminated completely.
The bridge is also expected to be a major boost to heritage tourism with Nadia being a destination for pilgrims. "It will be a direct link of STKK Road in Kalna with NH 34 that runs across Nadia," a PWD official said.
It may be mentioned that the handloom industry will also witness a surge as better connectivity will ensure people from other parts of the state coming to areas at Dhatrigram, Samudragarh, Santipur etc. which are known for their handloom.
Concerned over incidents like the boat mishap, Bengal government had introduced the Jaladhara scheme in April 2017, to provide financial assistance to convert semi-mechanised boats to mechanised ones to avert accidents.
Under this scheme, the state government provides a financial assistance of around 30 percent of the total cost of bringing in the mechanised boats in place of semi-mechanised ones. The amount given is a maximum of Rs 1 lakh.