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Sealdah Bridge shut down after road caves-in

Kolkata: South-bound traffic movement along the eastern flank of Sealdah Bridge was suspended after a portion of a road caved-in opposite Jagat Cinema on Monday.

The incident caused panic among locals and the commuters, as the crater formed was large enough to engulf a two-wheeler. The spot lies at 302, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road near a furniture shop. However, there were no injuries. The matter was immediately brought to the notice of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) by the traffic police and a team of civic engineers rushed to the spot.

The area was cordoned off by police to avoid any untoward incident, resulting in traffic congestion in the area. The vehicles coming from North Kolkata and heading towards South Kolkata were diverted to Anthony Bagan Lane to connect Sealdah Bridge via Mahatma Gandhi Road.

Later, the KMC engineers were pressed into service. A JCB machine was engaged to dig the road surface to determine the exact cause of subsidence.

"In the morning, a JCB machine was brought to the spot to dig the road surface to determine the exact cause of subsidence. We are detecting the reason of the cave-in. The KMC pipeline is fine. The problem is with the drainage pipeline. The cave-in occurred due to bursting of a sewage pipeline. We are trying to detect the exact place where the pipe had burst. Repairs will take time as the damage is of serious nature," said Subal Pahari, a KMC worker.

The KMC workers are also investigating to see if there are chances of a future cave-in in the adjacent areas.

"After heavy downpour on Saturday, a more than 12 feet long portion of the road caved-in at 10.30 am on Monday morning. Last Tuesday, around 4 feet of the road had caved-in near the same place. Earlier, there was a pothole work conducted by KMC at the same place," said a local resident.

Vidyapati Setu, commonly known as Sealdah flyover, was closed from August 15 to August 18 evening for load capacity testing by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). During the period, tram services along APC Road, M G Road, Bidhan Sarani and Lenin Sarani were either suspended or restricted.

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