Majerhat bridge plan hits design block

Officials involved in the project said it was impossible to build the structure in 11 months, as stipulated by the government

  • Published 23.11.18, 3:33 AM
  • Updated 23.11.18, 3:33 AM
  • 2 mins read
A portion of the Majerhat bridge above the railway tracks; (circled) the Joka-Esplanade Metro pillars Telegraph picture

The Majerhat bridge reconstruction project is back on the drawing board, for the second time, following objections raised by Metro Railway to the public works department’s proposal.

At a meeting on Thursday the government asked the Haryana-based company that has bagged the contract to build the bridge to factor in the structural specifications of the proposed Majerhat station of Joka-Esplanade Metro and come up with a design solution.

At the meeting in Nabanna, chaired by chief secretary Malay De, company representatives were told that a proposed design would only be sent to a “third party” for approval, a mandatory requirement, if there were no objections from the railways.

The collapsed bridge ran parallel to the proposed Joka-Esplanade Metro corridor and over suburban railway tracks on the Sealdah-Budge Budge line.

The Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), the implementing agency of the Joka-Esplanade project, has conveyed to the PWD its inability to make certain adjustments while building the Majerhat station of the corridor.

Metro had earlier reported that the PWD had asked RVNL to construct the Majerhat station in a way that the building did not protrude from the pillar towards the bridge. There was barely a 9m gap between the Metro construction site and the collapsed bridge.

Metro Railway officials made it clear that it was not possible to construct the station like that.

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Initially, the government had proposed a bowstring bridge. But such a structure — in which the deck slab is held by cables — would demand space on both sides that might not be available in Majerhat.

The government then suggested that a cable-stayed bridge — with one pylon holding the deck-slab with a string of cables — be set up. But that would require the platform at the proposed Majerhat Metro station to be narrower than 3m, a possibility that RVNL has ruled out.

The government is now mulling the option of a cable-stayed bridge with two pylons to hold the deck so that a slight curvature of the structure could be allowed.

At Thursday’s meeting, the Metro authorities were requested to slightly change the location of the escalators of the proposed Majerhat station for the sake of the bridge, sources said.

In a letter to the government on November 21, RVNL had pointed out that the width of the platform of the proposed station had been reduced to 3m from 4.5m to facilitate the setting up of a cable-stayed bridge. No further reduction is possible.

“We want to arrive at a consensus on the design of the proposed bridge. It’s challenging,” a PWD engineer said. “The government is not on a confrontation mode. The construction company has been told to consider all aspects so that no other project gets hit.”

Officials involved in the project said it was impossible to build the structure in 11 months, as stipulated by the government.