A letter from Eastern Railways to the KMDA on July 27 was made public on Saturday which revealed that the Eastern Railways had warned Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) about the poor condition of Majerhat Bridge just 39 days prior to its collapse on Tuesday .
In a letter addressed to the superintending engineer of south circle, GAP sector of KMDA, the Deputy Chief Engineer (WS) of Sealdah division of Eastern Railways warned: “The condition of RCC beam which supports utilities services are not in good condition and it requires suitable replacement in programmed manner at earliest. You are requested for your preparedness for shifting of utilities by your end as well as the work will have to be carried out in traffic and power block of Railways.”
The inspection of Majerhat Bridge was done by the Railways on July 21.”The nearby span towards Mominpur of the same ROB over existing drain found visible deflection towards Sealdah end. This needs a complete inspection from your side and necessary action thereof,” the letter added.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier said that the vibrations due to Metro rail works for the collapse of Majerhat Bridge on September 4 that claimed three lives and injured 25 people.
Also, forensic experts found on Saturday that tram lines were not removed from the collapsed bridge even after tram services were discontinued along the route 17 years ago. On top of that, tar was layered on the tram lines which increased the weight of the bridge by around 100 kg every meter which, forensic experts believe, may be one of the reasons for the collapse.
On the other hand, forensic experts found that the girders in Phansidewa Bridge near Siliguri in Darjeeling district that collapsed on Friday injuring one had also weakened from the centre of the structure.