The government of West Bengal has banked on the PSU warship builder Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers (GRSE) to set up two set of bridges that have recently collapsed.
The Majerhat bridge in south Kolkata, which collapsed killing three persons and injuring 24, will be replaced by a GRSE-made suspension bridge, which will mark the entry of the public sector defence PSU into civil construction. Within three days after the collapse of the Majerhat bridge, another old bridge near Siliguri collapsed, which is also being thought to be replaced by a GRSE bridge.
GRSE chairman and MD Rear Admiral VK Saxena said the PWD department of the West Bengal government has already finalised the order and the final agreement is left to be signed. GRSE, which will hit the capital market on September 24 with its IPO, is also trying to create a footprint in the civil market by supplying suspension bridges, bailey bridges and portable steel bridges, so far supplied to the defence sector exclusively.
“We are talking to the Maharashtra and Kerala governments and would shortly sign an MoU with the Maharashtra government for supply of bailey bridges. GRSE’s bridge division, which has a 60% market share at present, has a great future. We are looking forward to developing on this business,” Saxena said.
The bridge at Kolkata would be 4.25-metre wide and 80 feet long and would have a capacity to carry up to 85 tonne load. For the bridge at Siliguri, though no order has been placed as yet, the Siliguri Development Authority has made inquiries from GRSE. “The components for the bridge at Kolkata are ready and we can assemble them and put it up in 10-12 days after the formal receipt of the order,” said Sarvajit Singh Dogra, GRSE’s director for finance.