The chairman of the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT), commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Howrah Bridge on Friday, said the KoPT will soon to install multi-colour LED lights on the bridge and will organise a photo exhibition on the bridge’s historical relevance.
Celebrating the 75 anniversary of the bridge aboard the Riviera vessel, Vinit Kumar, chairman, KoPT said “The Howrah Bridge is not just an engineering marvel but also a hallmark of this city. It has a rich historical relevance. There used to be a pontoon bridge earlier which had to open every time ships passed. After the bridge replaced the pontoon one, the KoPT took charge of its maintenance. Till date, it has not needed any major repair or renovation.”
“We are planning to install multi-colour LED lights to decorate the bridge. The decoration will be done with the tax money that the Port and the KMC collect for its maintenance,” said Mr Kumar.
As far as the bridge’s maintenance is concerned, in order to safeguard hanger bases and arrest corrosion, the bridge has been covered by the hanger base with fiber glass covers at a cost of Rs 15 lakh, which are also washable.
The Howrah Bridge or Rabindra Setu was constructed by the KoPT during the period 1937 to 1942 and was commissioned in February 1943. Surveying, planning, design and supervision was carried out by M/s Randle, Palmer and Tritton of London. The main fabricator of the bridge was M/s Braithwaite Burn and Jessop ~ a consortium formed by these three firms for its construction. A total of 26,500 MT of steel was required to build it, out of which 23,500 tons of high-tension alloy steel known as Tiscrom was supplied by Tata Steel. The bridge is 1,500 feet long between two towers and on both sides a further 325 feet long upto the anchors.
The event was also graced by Sovan Chatterjee Kolkata mayor and Dr Rathin Chakraborty, Mayor of Howrah,
Sovan Chatterjee said “The Bridge is a heritage structure that stands as an icon of Kolkata. Heritage conservation is must in order to preserve such structures. The state government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation are in a continuous process to identify heritage structures and spots in the city for their conservation.”