The railway overbridge in Chitpore in north Kolkata is beyond repair and needs to be pulled down, a committee of experts on bridges and flyovers has told the state government.
The Chitpore overbridge on Cossipore Road stands over the railway yard and connects Bagbazar in north Kolkata with parts of Chitpore, Cossipore and Baranagar. A railway level crossing is beneath the bridge.
This railway overbridge is different from the Chitpore bridge that was built in 1843 and stands over the circular canal.
Senior officials in the urban development department said a meeting was recently held in Nabanna where representatives of the railways and the KMDA discussed the fate of the overbridge after a committee of experts presented a report stating that the structure needs to be pulled down.
A decision about the fate of the overbridge will be taken soon after the new Tallah bridge is inaugurated, officials of the urban development department said.
Details of sharing the cost of constructing an overbridge after the demolition of the existing one will be taken up shortly.
Heavy vehicles such as lorries and buses will not be allowed on the existing overbridge.
“We have found the structure beyond repair. There are certain structural defects that can't be addressed. There are several brick arches that have not been maintained and have become weak. More than 50 families stay under the arches,” said Amitabha Ghoshal, a bridge expert who heads the committee to study the condition of bridges and flyovers in Kolkata.
“We have concluded that this structure needs to be pulled down and replaced with a new bridge.”
Engineers said the level of the bridge had to be raised in the mid-80s for electrification of the Circular Railway.
“The portion of the bridge on the railway yard was raised with new piers. The two approaches were merely raised by extending the pillars that stood between brick arches. New pillars were not built from the ground for the approaches. Since these pillars rest on brick arches, their weight-bearing capacity is questionable,” said a senior KMDA engineer.
“Now that the arches have become dilapidated, the pillars have also weakened.”