A trailer carrying an old cargo aircraft of India Post was struck at an underbridge in Durgapur due to heavy smog in the wee hours today. On 22 December, the scrapped Air India Boeing 737, which has been used by India Posts as a cargo aircraft has been loaded on a trailer from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport in Dumdum airport and was being taken to Jaipur in Rajasthan by road.
At around 4 a.m. today, it reached the service road near the underbridge of Durgapur Steel Plant. The vehicle loaded with the wingless aircraft got struck in the under bridge for over eight hours. In the first attempt to free the vehicle, its tyres were partially deflated, but it failed and ultimately the wheels were taken off and another truck pulled it up beside the road. The road and the under bridge both were damaged.
The authorities of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) asked Durgapur Police Station to detain the vehicle. NHAI sources said that prior permission is required and route survey needs to be done before movement of such heavy vehicles on the National Highway.
“We need to ensure that normal traffic on the NH2 is not disrupted due to such heavy vehicle movement. The transport company has been called and the vehicle will be fined for damaging the highway,” an official of NHAI added. The incident created a stir as visibility has come down to almost zero in the Kolkata – Asansol stretch of NH2 since last night due to heavy smog.
To make matters worse, many trucks do not have lights and there is hardly any police presence to be seen on the highways in Hooghly, East Burdwan and Asansol Durgapur Police Commissionerate areas on the NH2 since last night due to the extreme cold.