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Loose iron girders to be removed from Vivekananda flyover site

Loose iron girders to be removed from Vivekananda flyover site

Kolkata: The state government will remove the loose iron girders from the construction site of Vivekananda Road flyover, the first step towards its demolition.

A tender to pull down the flyover will be floated soon. A committee set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary had recommended demolition of the structure.

A 41-meter iron slab of the flyover fell on April 1, 2016 in which 26 people died and 11 were injured. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the site and supervised the debris cleaning operation herself.

The construction of the flyover began in 2009 during the Left Front regime. Earlier, in 2008, funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The estimated cost of the project was Rs 168 crore in 2008 when it was commissioned.

Ashok Bhattacharya was the then Urban Development minister when Delhi had cleared the proposal. When a portion of the flyover collapsed in 2016, around 75 percent of the construction of the bridge was completed. The construction of the flyover was mooted to ease Howrah-bound traffic movement from East Kolkata.

From the very first day after the construction began, there had been movement to stop the process because of its faulty design. Development Employees Joint Action Committee had opposed its construction.

After the construction of the flyover, it was found that many residents could not open the windows of their flats as the boundary wall of the structure was just two feet away from their buildings. But the Left Front government refused to listen to their objection and finally went ahead with the project. As per the design of the flyover, the stretch on the road going towards Howrah from the Vivekananda Road side was wider than the one coming from Howrah. Many engineers had also pointed out the faulty design.

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