Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday pointed the accusing finger for the collapse of the arterial Majerhat bridge at the Metro railway making a stinging observation on the latter’s claim on Wednesday that the collapse had nothing to do with its construction near the bridge.
The game of passing the buck was played out on a day when one more body was extricated from the debris taking the toll to three. The hapless victim was identified as Gautam Mondal (45), a resident of Murshidabad.
Miss Banerjee, who held a meeting with senior state officials and other agencies during the day, suspended the metro work till the high-power inquiry committee set up to probe the collapse, submitted its report.
The CM asserted the preliminary report submitted by the PWD had identified metro work near the bridge as the major cause for the collapse.
She sarcastically said: “How intelligent of them (Metro officials) to understand that it was not their problem even before 12 hours of the incident !” In the same breath she said she was not outright blaming the Metro railway for the collapse, but the committee would inquire into the matter.
She also pointed out had the metro authorities alerted the government about the vibrations precautions would have been taken.
“The metro work is going on for nine years. The piling work could have been damaged due to the metro work. The high-powered committee has been asked to submit its report within a week,” she said.
A senior Metro official said: “The CM is a public representative. We are people’s servants. We can say this much that there was no link between the metro construction and the bridge collapse. She can suspend the metro construction work considering the people’s interest.”
The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), executing the Joka-BBD Bag metro corridor, had issued a statement after the collapse that there was no connection between the collapse of the bridge and their work. On Wednesday RVNL chief project manager A K Roy said: “The collapse of the bridge is the failure of the very old RCC girdle.”