KoPT looks to remove 'suicide point' status of Howrah Bridge
Kolkata: Concerned over the suicide attempts from Rabindra Setu popularly known as Howrah Bridge, Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT), the custodian of the bridge, has decided to put up nets on the railings adjacent to the pathway on both sides of the bridge.
This will prevent people from jumping off the bridge into River Ganga in a bid to commit suicide.
In a recently held meeting with Kolkata Police, KoPT was briefed about the number of suicide attempts, where people had scaled the railing on two sides of the bridge and
In one or two occasions, the jump had proved to be fatal. "We have decided to erect safety nets on both sides over the railing to prevent such attempts. The contract for setting up these nets has already been awarded. The nets will raise the existing height to nearly 4 feet," chairman of KoPT Vinit Kumar said.
In another significant step, KoPT is planning to come up with a shed over the pathway on either side of the bridge to protect pedestrians from getting drenched in the rain or terrible heat. "We have assigned the task to IIT Chennai for designing such a shed. The shed needs to be transparent as well as smart to match with the architectural beauty of the bridge," Kumar said.
An engineer of KoPT said the erection of shed is not an easy task as there is heavy wind blowing at that height. "If the shed is light there are be chances of it being blown away by a strong wind. At the same time, if it is very heavy, the bridge may get damaged. So, we have to take all these aspects into consideration before for putting up the shed," the engineer said.
It may be mentioned that this year, Howrah Bridge is celebrating its 75th anniversary. KoPT has planned to illuminate the bridge with lights of international standard.
"We want the bridge to be an attraction in itself like San Francisco Bridge, George Washington Bridge at Manhattan, New York and Sydney Harbour Bridge of Australia, whose lighting enthralls people from all parts of the globe," a senior KoPT official said.