Incidents of boat capsizing feared
Without offering a diversion facility the construction of a concrete bridge over Sutunga river has commenced in Mathabhanga. The new bridge is to replace the old wooden bridge. Now, many have no other option than crossing the river by country boats.
According to norms a diversion facility should be constructed prior to the renovation or construction of a new bridge to replace the old one, locals said. But in case of the bridge over Sutunga river in Mathabhanga Municipality area the norms have been violated. The passengers have been compelled to cross the river by country boats by risking their lives. The question is: Who will shoulder the responsibility if any boat capsizes and that claims life of any citizen? Many senior citizens demanded construction of a temporary bridge as diversion till completion of the new concrete bridge.
Criticising the matter, the opposition leader of Mathabhanga Municipality Ms Kalyani Poddar (Trinamul Congress) said the CPI-M dominated civic body and the PWD would have to bear the responsibility if any mishap occurs. Replacing of the old wooden bridge by a concrete bridge may take about four years so the authorities should take measures to minimise the problems of the citizens. They should immediately start construction of a diversion bridge- she demanded.
It was learnt that when the wooden bridge turned out-of-order the civic body introduced ferry service free of cost for the people. The sub-divisional administration too admitted the risk of crossing the river during the monsoon by country boats. They are to take up the matter with the PWD officials, a senior officer said.
Chairperson of Mathabhanga Municipality Ms Kokila Singha said they arranged ferry service to help the citizens. Another plan is under consideration to provide bus services for the school students as a substitute for boat service, she added. - Debashis Bhaumik