New bridge opens in West Bengal a day after collapse

June 17th, 2008 - 8:28 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 16 (IANS) A new permanent bridge was opened over the Sudani river in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district Monday, a day after a temporary one collapsed. The bridge was scheduled to be completed by June-end but was opened to traffic early due to Sunday’s accident.

“The bridge is almost ready apart from some work at its base. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials will restrict the number of vehicles for some days so that the bridge is not overburdened until the base work is over,” District Magistrate Sukumar Bhattacharyya told reporters.

Sudani river is near Karandighi town of the district. District officials said the temporary bridge - made of hume pipes and boulders - was constructed after the Bailey Bridge, a part of national Highway No. 34 connecting north and south Bengal, gave away Aug 22 last year.

“Construction of the (permanent) bridge started last year and we spent Rs.65 million on it,” Bhattacharyya added.

District sources, however, said the new bridge was opened hurriedly without any “vehicle testing”.

Communication was cut off after the temporary bridge collapsed Sunday morning and many trucks were stranded for hours. No one was injured in the accident.

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