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One injured as Ahiritola jetty bridge collapses due to high tide

Kolkata: One person was injured as a portion of Ahiritola ferry ghat jetty collapsed on Sunday. Normal ferry services will resume by Monday.

According to sources, the jetty collapsed during high tide at 11.40 am. The intensity of the waves was so high that it struck the jetty and weakened it.

Rajkumar Saha (45), a staff of Indo-Swiss Trading Company Private Limited (ISTCPL), was severely injured when he was trying to inspect the cause of the collapse of a portion of the footbridge connecting Ahiritola jetty. He was rescued and rushed to Maniktala ESI Hospital and is undergoing treatment there. ISTCPL looks after the functioning of the Ahiritola ferry ghat.

The ferry service usually remains suspended during high tide. The loss could have been severe if more passengers would have been present on the jetty at the time of collapse. However, there was no loss of life.

Local residents opined that a major disaster was averted as it was a Sunday. If it had been a working day, many people would have been injured in the mishap, they felt.

"Steamers don't run during high tide. Rajkumar, a staff of ISTCPL, was there at the jetty when the waves hit it. He was rescued immediately. He has suffered a leg injury. The high intensity wave hit the jetty and damaged the ball bearings of the structure, leading to the collapse of the pontoon bridge," said Deboshree Dasgupta, director of ISTCPL.

Pontoon bridge, also known as a floating bridge or ponton bridge, is a bridge connecting the land surface and the ship or streamer on the water body. It is used by pedestrians to reach the steamer aligned at the bank. Immediately after the incident, ISTCPL put up a notice that pointed out that the Ahiritola ferry ghat jetty services has been closed due to repair work. "The ferry services will resume by Monday," Dasgupta stated.

Ahiritola ferry ghat jetty is one of the busiest ghats in Kolkata, which connects people to and from Howrah and Banda ghat.

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