The under-construction Tallah bridge is likely to be thrown open to traffic before the Pujas, Pulak Roy, the newly appointed public works department (PWD) minister said on Thursday.
“The construction work is going on at a top pace. We hope to inaugurate the Tallah bridge ahead of the Pujas,” Roy said after taking over the charge of his new portfolio.
Roy has replaced Malay Ghatak following a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday.
On Thursday Roy, also the minister in charge of public health engineering, met PWD officials along with those involved with the ₹468-crore Tallah bridge project to take a stock of the progress made to date.
Senior PWD officials, who were present at the meeting, said the minister outlined that completion of the Tallah bridge was the top priority of the state government now.
Work on the 750-metre Tallah bridge started in August 2020 with L&T — the construction company that was accorded the contract for the project — first pulling down the existing 60-year-old structure before starting to construct the new one.
In January, senior state government officials had said the bridge — that would connect parts of Dunlop, Baranagar, Sinthee, Chiria More and Cossipore with Shyambazar in the north — would be ready by end-April. The deadline was later pushed to June end because of the pandemic.
The Telegraph reported in June how the deadline for completion of the Tallah bridge was pushed even further to mid-September.
PWD engineers attributed the delay to the process of welding six bow-string-shaped girders at the construction site. The work of welding the girders has been assigned to railway contractors.
“The construction of the bridge involves continuous coordination with both the railways and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC),” said a senior PWD engineer of the project.
Several commuters said they were fed up waiting for the construction to be over.
“This is an endless wait,” said Chaitali Saha, a resident of Dunlop in the north, who has to commute every day to reach Baghbazar.