Kolkata : Five years after the collapse of Vivekananda flyover popularly known as ‘Posta flyover’ on March 31, 2016, where 28 people died, the state government – after much consultation – finally decided to pull down the flyover. The demolition work will start from June 5.Firhad Hakim who is the Chairman of Board of Administrators of Kolkata Municipal Corporation held a meeting with Posta Bazar Merchant’s Association in presence of Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) and Kolkata Municipal Development Authority (KMDA) officials and announced the decision of demolition of the flyover. RITES will be the executing agency for dismantling of the flyover.”The Kolkata Traffic Police will make necessary traffic diversion to ensure smooth flow of traffic while the work for pulling down will be executed. The first phase of the demolition will take 45 days,” Hakim said.On March 31, 2016, a 150 metre (490 ft) steel span of the under-construction Vivekananda Road flyover in North Kolkata collapsed killing 28 people and leaving more than 90 others injured in the accident.The flyover was in the centre of controversy from the beginning. The construction for the 2.2-kilometre (1.4 mile) Vivekananda Road flyover was contracted in 2008 by the then Left Front government and began in 2009.
IVRCL, a construction firm based in Hyderabad, won the bid for the project. The construction was scheduled to be completed in 2010 but overshot the deadline multiple times. After Mamata Banerjee came to power in 2011, IVRCL was given an 18-month deadline by the Chief Minister to complete the flyover by February 2016 and allocated a budget of nearly Rs 165 crore.After that the state government formed several expert committees to decide the future of the flyover. Anandapran Gupta, former head of the department of civil engineering at IIT KGP stated that his investigating committee found defects in multiple aspects of the flyover construction including design, construction, raw materials and supervision.Biranchi Acharya, an experienced construction professional, claimed that the main cause was the failure of a pier cap which brought down two spans supported over it. Some flaws either in joints of the pier cap or unwanted eccentric loading may have been responsible. Finally, the state government formed high-powered committee to decide on the fate of the Posta flyover. Noted bridge expert V.K. Raina made a detailed health audit of the flyover and suggested that it should be demolished.A senior official of KMDA said that all precautionary measures will be taken so that there is no damage to the buildings adjacent to the flyover when the dismantling work will be on. The state government is yet to decide whether it will come up with a new flyover after the bridge is razed completely.