The collapse of the Majherhat Bridge on Diamond Harbour Road has prompted the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) to conduct a thorough structural health check-up of the Vidyasagar Setu.
Rattled by the Majherhat Bridge mishap, the HRBC has submitted to the state transport department files relating to ‘thorough structural health audit’ of Vidyasagar Setu for floating tenders for its maintenance.
“This will be the first ever thorough structural inspection of the bridge since 1992 when it was opened to vehicular traffic movement. We are seeking approval to float tenders to select an agency for thorough repair,” a top HRBC official told The Statesman.
“This time there will be complete health audit that includes inspection and repair of 150 cables, foundation piers, pylons, super-structures, concrete decks, iron and steel expansion joints of the bridge. The full proof inspection is necessary because of the regular increase in vehicular traffic plying on the bridge,” he said.
“Earlier, there used to be routine inspection and repair work on the bridge from time to time with the help of experts of the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) and RITES but without any ‘whole body’ magnetic image resonance (MRI) investigation,” an official of the transport department said.
On the direction of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, HRBC has already removed thousands of tubs of saplings from the Setu to reduce the additional load immediately after the Majerhat Bridge collapse.
About two years ago, the HRBC with forest department had installed the tubs on the setu, spending several crores of rupees.