KOLKATA: The inordinate delay in executing the work and Mamata Banerjee's subsequent rush to open the 2.2km Vivekananda Road flyover seem to be its undoing, literally.
The 2.2-km Vivekananda Road flyover, being constructed since 2009, has been beset by delays. Has the delay caused fatigue in execution? Amid perpetual postponement, in November last year, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced opening the flyover by February 2016, not caring that 24% of the work was still left.
With an eye on the assembly elections, the chief minister in November last year-at a Jagaddhatri Puja event-had declared the inauguration of the flyover by February 2016, ostensibly not paying much thought to the fact that 24% of the work was left. Informed by her urban development minister Firhad Hakim that the deadline was implausible, she relented to postpone the date but maintained that it should be finished by September. As a result, immense pressure was apparently put on the implementing agency, KMDA, and builder IVRCL to meet the deadline, the 10th since the project started in 2009.
After a little over six years, only 0.9km of the 2.2km flyover has been constructed, to add up to 59 spans. It is the 60th span that was being cast which collapsed on Thursday. The casting was on for two days, but the work, carried out from Wednesday midnight till 5am on Thursday, was faulty, engineers suspected. They said the 100m span, or the deck slab-cum-girder for two stands, could have given way due to a failure of a pier in between.
Though junior urban development minister Babul Supriyo blamed the design, an engineer said: "It looks more like a construction failure. Some error might have occurred in the construction procedure or maintaining the sequence." IVRCL group head (HR and administration) K Panduranga Rao pointed out that the crash was caused by a missing girder. "One girdle missed leading to a second one to fall off," he said.
Contractor should be held responsible for this. Many innocent lives have been lost.
Many a times its not the contractor, but the political leadership which is responsible of putting unreasonable pressure and thus leading to accidents..
mahendra kumar Nayak
Contractor and the technical persons are to be blamed.
corruption is the primary cause of all such failures. We should introduce death penalty for corruption
She declared opening of flyover without consulting technical team!! Politicians often make this mistake, the question is why?
If it is a construction zone, how come all sorts of vehicle traffic were going under or in the vicinity of the construction area -Buses, trucks, private vehicles, hand pulled rikshaws, motor cycles....Didn't they cardon off the construction are and create a detour for all vehicle and pedestrian traffic - This is ridiculous construction management.....
Capt mithilesh Kumar
It is high time the Chief Minister should be made accountable for this tragedy. Let some file PIL to the highest Court.