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Sagar bridge on study table

Calcutta, Sept. 11: The government is planning a bridge connecting Sagar Island with the mainland.

Consulting Engineering Services (CES) has been appointed to carry out a feasibility study that is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

The 3.3km bridge is likely to cost around Rs 600 crore.

CES chairman Sudhangsu Sekhar Chakraborty said it could take three to four years to complete construction after work starts. “We are looking at an alignment where only barges sail so that the bridge is not too high,” he added.

CES — headquartered in Delhi and not the US as mentioned in the paper yesterday — wants Calcutta Port Trust to be involved in the development of the bridge.

Chakraborty has met port trust chairman Anup K. Chanda to discuss the plan.

The port trust now has a pilot station and a light house there for ships heading to Haldia and Calcutta. It wants full-fledged operations on the island. “Our perspective plan involves building jetties there. If a bridge comes up, it will help,” Chanda said.

The bridge has to be strong and big enough to bear the load of large containers that are likely to be unloaded at Sagar.

The island, 110km south of Calcutta, is large — with an area of around 300sqkm. It has 43 villages and a population of over 1.6 lakh.

The bridge would be a boon for the people of the island, an official said. Water is now taken there by boats. Solar cells and diesel engines are used to meet power needs.

Chakraborty said the bridge could be built in a private-public partnership in which the port trust could play a role.

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