West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to take a call on whether the arterial Tallah Bridge in the city would be demolished or strengthened for the time being following recommendations of a team of experts to rebuild the structure, a senior official said.
The report submitted to state chief secretary Rajiva Sinha by the Mumbai-based team on Wednesday recommended demolition and reconstruction of the 57-year-old bridge, reaffirming an earlier report submitted by consultancy firm RITES.
“The Mumbai-based firm has submitted its report and recommendations on the Tallah bridge and the chief minister will hold discussions on the fate of the bridge on October 12.
She will take a call on the best possible option,” the officer said.
Secretariat sources said that discussions were held by the chief secretary with other senior officials and police officers about the options of building a new bridge or strengthening the existing one.
“Discussions were also held about the possible expenditure of building a new bridge and whether the structure would be of steel or concrete,” he said.
The Tallah bridge is one of the main gateways to enter the city from North 24 Parganas.
It was learnt that the police has been directed by the state government to chalk out alternative routes for cars, buses and goods vehicles, if the 625-metre-long bridge was pulled down.
Buses and heavy vehicles weighing over 3 tonnes were barred from plying over the bridge just before the Durga Puja celebrations.
Four-wheelers weighing below 3 tonnes have been allowed to ply at a restricted speed of 10 km an hour.
“The traffic department is thinking of using the Chitpore lock gate flyover from Baghbazar to BT Road for north-bound traffic as was done during Durga Puja,” the officer said.
The bridge was recently declared most vulnerable after a study of its health by RITES.
The state government has decided to sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the railways so that there was no confusion about their responsibilities and maintenance work was not hampered.
The MoU is likely be signed between the state government and the railways on October 25, he said.
The health of a number of bridges and flyovers in the city is being checked by the administration after the collapse of the Majherhat Bridge in 2018. Three persons had lost their lives in the collapse.