Krishnanagar, Feb. 2: Concerned over the dilapidated conditions of the concrete guard railings and its adjacent ramps of at least two major bridges attached to NH34 in Nadia, the district administration has written to the NH34 project authorities to undertake immediate repair works so that no accident occur.
District Magistrate Sumit Gupta in a letter has requested NH34 Project authorities in Krishnanagar to take stock of the poor conditions of the top surface and concrete railing of the Dwijendra Setu over river Jalangi located at the outskirt of the town and to repair the damaged portions at the earliest. He has also requested the NH34 project authorities to initiate similar actions for the 400ft long bridge over Churni River in Ranaghat.
“I have written to the NH authorities so that necessary action is taken to make the bridges secured one for vehicles and pedestrians”, said Nadia DM Sumit Gupta.
Nadia’s Superintendent of police Sheesh Raam Jhajharia has also made similar request to the NH34 authorities so that accident could be avoided. “I have not written any letter, but verbally on requested the NH authorities so that bridges are maintained properly to ensure safety”, he said.
The alacrity of the administration apparently came in the wake of the Daulatabad bus tragedy that claimed 45 lives early this week.
Both Dwijendra Setu and Churni Bridge were constructed during early 60s after the Farakka bridge was constructed to develop easy motorable access to North Bengal and North Eastern states as well.
The 730 ft long Dwijendra Setu built incurring Rupees 23,07,371 in 1961 and became functional in the same year. The bridge over Churni in Ranaghat connecting NH34 was also built during the same time.
But, locals alleged that in absence of timely maintenance made these two bridges have become a death trap for the drivers and the pedestrians.
The walking ramp of both the bridges have been demolished for lack of maintenance and the concrete railing at several places have been broke creating gaps making it vulnerable for vehicles, cyclists and for pedestrians as well. The black top surface of both the bridges, particularly of the Dwijendra Setu has been removed and rubbles came out making it quite difficult for plying of vehicles.
“The bridge has become a high risk for motorcyclists and small cars, which can slip of the bridge any moment”, said a motor cyclist.
A truck driver said: “I drive on several times over these two bridges and every time I remain very cautious as both became driving over these became a nightmare. On Dwijendra Setu the truckers often suffer damage to their vehicle due to big holes and damaged road surface”.
Krishnanagar police sources claimed that during last three months at least five bikers met with accident on the bridge and two of them died. At least lorries, each from two, fell into river below through broken railings.
Nevertheless, Project director of NH34 Sugata Saha thinks that there no major problems in the two bridges. He said that the bridges require small repair works which would be carried out soon.
“We have prepared some estimates for maintenance works of certain stretches. These are very small works. We are actually waiting for the widening works of the NH to begin. This widening works is now under the tendering process, once the work begins everything will be changed including these bridges”.