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Mamata inaugurates Jai Hind Bridge, says Rlys should give back Rs 34 cr

Mamata inaugurates Jai Hind Bridge, says Rlys should give back Rs 34 cr
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Kolkata: Coming down heavily on the Railways, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded that it must give back Rs 34 crore that it took from the state government for giving clearances to Jai Hind Bridge at Majerhat in south Kolkata as the work was carried for benefit of the common people.

"I am well aware of the inconvenience that the people of south Kolkata mainly Behala and its adjoining areas had to face in the past two years. I would like to say that the bridge could have been constructed nine months back. It did not happen because of the Railways, which delayed giving clearances despite taking Rs 34 crore. Even Kolkata Port Trust has taken Rs 77 lakh. The Railways have also taken Rs 55 crore for demolition of Tala Bridge," Banerjee said.

Banerjee on Thursday inaugurated the cable-stayed bridge with four-lane roads at Majerhat. She named the bridge as Jai Hind Bridge, paying tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The 650 metre-long four-lane bridge has a load capacity of 385 metric tonne. The old two-lane bridge had the capacity of 155 metric tonne.

"The amount can be used for construction of schools and colleges or roads. So, they must give it back as the bridge has been constructed for the benefit of people and not for my personal use," she said.

She also attacked BJP for staging drama by agitating near the bridge demanding its opening a few days ago when its construction was completed by the state Public Works Department and only the Railways' clearance for the opening was awaited.

She raised questions on BJP's silence on the issue of the Railways taking crores of rupees for giving clearances and demolishing a stretch of the old collapsed structure.

"I will not blame the Railway officials, but their bosses sitting in Delhi for playing such games," she said.

Stating that it is her government that carried out audit of all bridges in the state, Banerjee said three more flyovers will be constructed in the city. "A flyover will come up connecting Ganesh Chandra Avenue and New Market. One will be built to connect Tollygunge and Jadavpur Phari via Taratala and Prince Anwar Shah Road. The third one will be constructed between Park Circus and Ballygunge Phari," she said.

The Chief Minister also urged people not to spit on the well-decorated and maintained establishments in the city. She also announced distribution of free-of-cost helmets by the police in collaboration with the state Public Works Department after urging people not to ride two-wheelers without them.

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