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TMC pays price for LF’s inability to finish flyover

TMC pays price for LF’s inability to finish flyover
The non-performing Left Front’s gift to Trinamool Congress government- an unfinished Vivekananda Road flyover in Burrabazar, gave grief to the latter when around 100m garter at Ganesh Talkies intersection collapsed on Thursday afternoon killing several people and leaving many more injured.

During the Left Front regime, the state Urban Development department had laid the foundation stone of two flyovers– namely, Parama Island and Vivekananda Road flyovers to ease traffic congestion for airport and Howrah bound vehicles. The Parama Island flyover was inaugurated by Mamata Banerjee in 2015. This flyover could not be completed as there is impasse over acquisition of land approaching Howrah bridge.

The Rs 164 crore flyover was funded by Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). The time for completion was 18 months.

Despite repeated complaints from local people the then Urban development minister Ashok Bhattacharya refused to change the design. Local people claimed that because of faulty design they could not open the windows of their flats as the wall of the flyover was just a few inches away from their windows. But, Bhattacharya refused to pay heed and went ahead with the construction.

Hyderabad based IVRCL was assigned the job while KMDA is the supervising agency. Priyotosh Bhattacharya, chief engineer of KMDA who is scheduled to retire in April was the one responsible for supervision. He allegedly slowed down the construction process and despite Mamata Banerjee’s directions did not accelerate the work. Local people alleged that the portion of the flyover which they called “faulty design” collapsed on Thursday afternoon.

It may be recalled that a portion of Ultadanga flyover which was again constructed during the Left Front regime collapsed in 2012 and the state government had to dish out funds from its coffers to repair it. But no action could be taken against anyone in KMDA as senior officials who were involved with the project had retired by then.

A spokesman for IVRCL said that more than 70% work had been completed. Sixty pillars have been completed. He said that a thorough inquiry would be conducted into the matter to find out the exact cause of the disaster.
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