Environmental impact study of Tallah Bridge demolition likely
The West Bengal government is planning to conduct a study to assess the environmental impact of demolishing the Tallah Bridge, located in the northern part of the city, a senior Public Works Department (PWD) official said on Wednesday. The measure is being considered as suggested by bridge expert V K Raina, who was in the city earlier this month.
A Mumbai-based company had submitted a report to the state government suggesting that the 57-year-old bridge be demolished, reaffirming a similar recommendation by consultancy firm RITES. While Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha has discussed with senior officials and police officers about options on building a new bridge or strengthening the existing one, the final call on the demolition is likely to be taken soon by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a source in the Secretariat said.
"It is mandatory to study the aspects of pollution in an event of the demolition of a huge structure like Tallah Bridge," the PWD official said. Accordingly, data on traffic volume on the bridge has been sought from the Traffic Department, he said.
"The demolition process is likely to cause air pollution and it may affect residents of surrounding areas, especially those living on the BT Road," the official said. The department is also considering a study of the existing electrical and communication cables below the bridge to ensure that no service gets hampered due to the demolition, he said.
The PWD department has already floated a tender for mapping the existing underground utility services below the bridge. The official said vehicular pollution on the bridge has reduced since the state government barred heavy vehicles above three tonnes of weight from plying on the bridge since a week before the Durga Puja festivities.
The RITES study had declared the bridge as "most vulnerable". The state government has decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Railways to demarcate each other's responsibilities in the maintenance of the bridge, sources said, adding it is likely to be signed on October 25.
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