In a bid to avert any untoward incident, the Kolkata Port Trust (KPT) will conduct a detailed health checkup of 80-year-old iconic Howrah bridge. It became necessary to hold the test after the Majerhat bridge disaster. The Kolkata Port is also known as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port.
What was the Majerhat bridge disaster?
The Majerhat bridge collapsed on September 04, 2018. It has been observed that due to the repeated coating of pitch on the old bridges, the weight of the bridge increases. In its report, the National Test House has also mentioned this as a possible cause behind the disaster.
Repair work of Howrah bridge:-
For the last one month, the authorities have been conducting the repair work of this iconic bridge at night. The authorities are scraping the bituminous road surface and a new layer will be laid to reduce the load of the bridge. The health inspection will take place after all the repair work is completed.
Who will conduct the health checkup of the Howrah bridge?
The health checkup of the cantilever bridge will be done in consultation with the National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), a division of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. The proposed exercise will be taken up in addition to the routine maintenance of the bridge. Last health checkup was done by the expertise of Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES).
Significance of health checkup of Howrah bridge:-
An in-depth study of the bridge will be conducted after a gap of more than a decade. The study will provide valuable insights of the bridge. It would also provide a detailed report on how to improve the lifespan and secure the British-era bridge. The study will also provide a detailed description of how to preserve this technological marvel.
About Howrah bridge:-
The Howrah Bridge, also known as ‘Rabindra Setu’ is being considered as a symbol of ‘City of Joy’. The 405 metres long and 21.6 metres wide bridge was inaugurated in 1943. The bridge connects the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata over the Hooghly river. The bridge is an integral part of daily lives in the city. It facilitates the movement of around 80,000 vehicles and 4,00,000 pedestrians daily.