The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Three-prong push to clear flyover path underground

Finding itself within striking distance of a Metro Railway passenger dispersal tunnel on AJC Bose Road, the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) on Friday has decided appointed a local consultant to carry forward the foundation work for the flyover.

After a meeting with the HRBC, Metro Railway chief engineer Ashok Gupta said: “Even though the on-going work is reasonably far away from the main tunnel of the Rabindra Sadan station, the piling work could endanger the structure of one of the subways. We have to find a solution without compromising the safety of commuters.”

Gupta said it must be seen whether the particular pillar, for which the HRBC was carrying out the piling work, could be relocated. “We asked them to examine these options and talk to Stup, a local consultant, before our next meeting,” he added.

HRBC vice-chairman A.K. Pal, however, said: “It is not a critical issue. We did not touch the dispersal vomitory. We were 23 centimetres away from its outer wall when we stopped work on our own in the first week of October and contacted the Metro Rail authorities. We will have to take a few precautions.”

He refused to divulge details of the options suggested by Metro Rail authorities during Friday’s meeting and remained tightlipped on why work had been stopped abruptly if the issue was not critical.

“Stup will study the details of the flyover construction near Rabindra Sadan and chalk out a path to continue work without affecting the Metro dispersal tunnel. A meeting between HRBC, Stup and Metro Rail has been scheduled for November 26,” added Pal.

Chief engineer Gupta, meanwhile, alleged that the HRBC had not sought any prior approval from the Metro Railway regarding the construction work near the Rabindra Sadan station.

“We would have warned them about the passenger dispersal tunnel if they had submitted detailed plans and sought a clearance,” he added.

The Japanese consultants for the project, Yachio Engineering Company, had interacted with the Metro Rail authorities, apart from other “underground utilities” like the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and the CESC. A committee had also been formed in 1997 and a clearance obtained from Metro Railway. Gupta, however, maintained that the 1997 clearance was “not specific” to the work being carried out on the Rabindra Sadan stretch of the AJC Bose Road flyover.

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