Diamond cutters slice Calcutta's Majerhat bridge

Two spans on tracks pulled down, two more to go soon

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 7.01.19, 3:56 PM
  • Updated 7.01.19, 3:56 PM
  • a min read
  •  
A portion the collapsed Majerhat bridge being dismantled on Sunday. Gautam Bose

Diamond cutters and two 140-tonne-capacity cranes were used over the weekend to dismantle a portion of the deck of the collapsed Majerhat bridge over railway tracks.

The diamond cutters were used to slice the deck into smaller pieces, which were then lowered and placed on wagons on the tracks by the cranes.

“Diamond cutters cut concrete efficiently. We could have deployed jaw cutters but that would have generated a lot of debris. A jackhammer, on the other hand, could have caused concrete chunks to fly in all directions and hit passing vehicles,” an engineer said.

“Clearing debris from the tracks is a challenging task. Besides, chunks of concrete falling from above could have damaged the tracks,” said Prabhas Dansana, divisional railway manager, Eastern Railway’s Sealdah division.

Too much of debris on the tracks might have delayed resumption of train services on the Circular Railway route.

The authorities had announced that services on the route would remain suspended from 2pm on Saturday till 6am on Monday to facilitate removal of debris.

Two of the four spans of the bridge have been dismantled. Two more run over the tracks and will be pulled down in a few weeks, officials said.

A Haryana-based company, SP Singla Constructions Pvt Ltd, has been awarded the contract to build a bridge in the place of the collapsed structure. The company has one year from the date of the start of construction to complete the project.

“We want to demolish the old bridge and start work on the new at the earliest,” a PWD official said.

A portion the collapsed Majerhat bridge being dismantled on Sunday.
A portion the collapsed Majerhat bridge being dismantled on Sunday. Gautam Bose