Rahul Gandhi today visited Kolkata under-construction flyover collapse site which killed 26 people. He also visited those injured in the accident at a hospital. Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by state Congress President Adhir Chowdhury and party leader Deepa Dasmunsi, earlier talked to NDRF officials at the accident site.
“There has been a tragedy here. I wanted to come here and give my support to the people who are injured. One must give support what we can. I came here to visit the injured people. I don’t want to make any political statement,” he said to DNA.
The flyover close to Ganesh Talkies in the crowded Girish Park region was under construction for over 5 years. The death toll in the incident has reached 24 and left around 80 injured. The state government had earlier announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh to next of family of the victims and Rs 2 Lakh to serious injured people.
Three employees of the company building the flyover were arrested in the city late on Friday evening. In its defence, IVRCL, that is under scrutiny over its track record and debts, hinted at several possibilities including a bomb blast. “The glass was shattered. It could have been a blast,” Sheela Peddinti, legal adviser to IVRCL said.
Two senior engineers of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority which was IVRCL’s joint venture partner in the project have been suspended. The police have also registered a case of murder and attempt to murder against IVRCL. The partially constructed overpass was designed to ease traffic through the densely crowded Burrabazaar area. Within hours of concrete being poured into a framework of steel girders on Thursday, a 100-metre stretch of the overpass collapsed, crushing pedestrians and cars on the road at lunchtime.
The bridge has been under construction since 2009. The company was given an 18-month deadline and a budget of nearly Rs. 165 crore to complete the project but after seven years, only about 60 percent of the work has been done.