Repair Chitpur, R G Kar flyovers before bringing down Tallah bridge: Experts

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Tallah bridge in Kolkata has been closed since October after it developed cracks. (File)

The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) will write to the Public Vehicles Department, requesting it not to dismantle Tallah bridge in north Kolkata till the Chitpur and R G Kar flyovers are repaired.

As a result, KMDA sources said, it would take at least a month before the “very critical” Tallah bridge is dismantled. According to sources, dismantling of Tallah bridge would not begin before mid January next year.

Tallah bridge was found unsuitable for heavy vehicles during an inspection by RITES, a subsidiary of the railways, in August. Later in October, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee imposed restrictions on the bridge for vehicles weighing over three tonnes. On October 3, a thorough examination of the bridge was conducted by a private agency from Mumbai and experts from RITES, after which they submitted a report to the state government, stating that the condition of the 57-year-old flyover is “very critical” and suggested to demolish it and build a new one.

Chitpur bridge, which connects Bagbazaar with Kashipur-Chitpur area, and R G Kar flyover, located near R G Kar Hospital, are used by people travelling to and from northern suburbs.

According to the officials sources, the condition of the Chitpur bridge has been found to be very poor in a recent health audit, while the R G Kar flyover needs little repair work like removal of one layer of bitumen.

“Dismantling of the Tallah bridge is difficult till both the bridges are repaired. It will be impossible to handle the load of the vehicles once the Tallah bridge is shut,” said a KMDA official.

Tallah bridge will be the city’s second major rail overbridge to be demolished. The one at Majerhat at the other end of the city was pulled down after a portion collapsed last year. A new bridge is already under construction there. For Tallah bridge, the authorities have already made a preliminary model. Commissioned in 1962, the bridge has strands of steel ducts supporting its underbelly. Engineers had observed that these strands are no more strong enough to bear the load.