It takes a flyover to fall to know lives are cheap in Kolkata

At least 17 people are feared to be dead with more than 150 injured.

 |  1-minute read |   31-03-2016
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Only three hours after an unfinished flyover collapsed in Kolkata, sadly, the attention has shifted from the tragedy to whose fault it is.

At least 17 people are feared to be dead with more than 150 injured. The flyover on Vivekananda Road in Barabazar area collapsed at around noon on March 31.

The area is densely populated, being at the heart of the business district in Kolkata, and is always congested with hawkers, shops, automobiles, buses. Residents tell us that the concrete had been laid on the bridge just last night.

kolkata-2-story_033116060053.jpg  Army has been called in to assist in the rescue work. (Photo: Shyam Sundar Ghosh)

Rescue operations are currently underway and the Indian Army and teams of the NDRF have already swung into action.

Meanwhile, the media in its desperation for breaking news, trained its lens on an opposition leader in the area, who used the opportunity and the attention to attack the TMC government. The government in turn has retorted that the construction of the bridge began in 2009 under the CP(M) government rule.

CM Mamata Banerjee had to cancel her rally to head to the site of the accident. It seems ironic: Banerjee wanted the flyover - already long passed its deadline - to be completed by February. Project engineers had expressed concerns over whether this would be attainable.

The West Bengal government, meanwhile, has already announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for next of kin of the deceased, and Rs 2 lakh for the injured.

A cynic would say talk is cheap. But in Kolkata, lives are cheaper.

Writer

Malini Banerjee Malini Banerjee @startingtoblue

The writer is a special correspondent with India Today, Kolkata.

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