Kolkata: Majerhat bridge gets safety nod – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: The Majerhat bridge reconstruction project received a shot in the arm on Friday with the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) giving its nod for building the superstructure. The CRS’s sanction came hours after chief minister Mamata Banerjee mentioned the pending approval at the Eastern Zonal Council meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah in Odisha. TOI on February 19 had reported that CRS refused the much-needed approval, pointing out 31 procedural and technical lapses in the ongoing planning and construction of the road overbridge (ROB). Fulfilling so many issues would have pushed the bridge’s commissioning to October or beyond, state officials had feared. CRS, under the ministry of civil aviation, gives safety clearance to any railway project across the country. A span of Majerhat road overbridge (ROB), that comes within the ambit of Eastern Railway (ER), fell on September 4, 2018. The new bridge, being built since January, last year, has already missed its September 27 and December 31, 2019 deadlines. The Bengal government holds railways responsible for the delay. On November 25, last year, Banerjee wrote to railway minister Piyush Goyal urging him to intervene in the construction of the superstructure and in getting the CRS sanction. On Friday, she broached the issue before the Union home minister. Sometime later, Md Latief Khan, CRS, eastern circle, Kolkata, wrote to the general manger, Eastern Railway (ER), the zonal railway in charge of the ROB, that “sanction is accorded to the work (reconstruction of four-lane ROB at Majerhat) being carried out subject to stipulations as under …” ER immediately passed on the letter to PWD. The number of pointers have now been reduced from 31 to 22. There is a marked difference in the tone. In its letter to GM, ER on January 13, CRS seemed to be seeking that PWD should fulfil the issues before getting its sanction. But Friday’s (February 28) letter gives the sanction. “I guess CRS expects PWD to duly address the 22 stipulations, now that it has given its nod,” a state official said. To begin with, the CRS has told ER that all the conditions mentioned in the general arrangement drawing (GAD) or the master-plan, must be fulfilled. Also, it wants the “wind tunnel test” done to find out how much wind force the proposed bride can tolerate. PWD has tried to insist with ER (which has conveyed the message to CRS) that this aerodynamic study of a bridge, where the stress on the structure caused by a certain wind velocity is mathematically mapped, is not necessary. Only Vidyasagar Setu has gone through it. But CRS wants it done, especially because like Vidyasagar Setu, the new Majerhat bridge will also be cable-stayed. CRS also has issues with the bearings being used in the ROB. “The elastomeric bearing are non-linear material and … there can be gross error …” the letter read. PWD is gearing to address all these issues one by one. The agency is happy that they can go ahead with the girder-launching and start building the superstructure, now that the CRS nod has come. Engineers said they were thankful to the role played by the CM in rebuilding the lifeline that connects Kolkata to Behala and beyond.
Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/majerhat-bridge-gets-safety-nod/articleshow/74408157.cms