Flyover collapse: Election don’t mean much to families

Kolkata flyover collapse-PTI

Her voice quivered a bit when she was asked about the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. It has been almost four years since Kum Kum Dutta lost her husband in one of the worst civic disasters in the country when a section of an under-construction flyover collapsed in the Burrabazar area of Kolkata.

Her husband Tapan Dutta, a local shopkeeper, was returning home on the fateful day of March 31, 2016, days ahead of the Assembly elections.

At around 11 am, the under construction flyover collapsed on a busy city street during rush hour. Tapan was killed when a beam of the flyover fell on the autorickshaw he was travelling in.

“I lost my husband ahead of the Assembly elections. Now, after almost four years we are in the middle of the Lok Sabha elections. But that flyover still stands precariously in Burrabazar and may collapse any time. But nothing has been done. Not even poll promises are made about it. I have lost my interest in the elections,” Kum Kum told DH.

Unable to deal with the trauma, Kum Kum along with her son and father-in-law have moved from Kolkata to Belur, in the Hooghly district.

She is just one among several family members of the 28 persons who lost their lives in the incident. Now they are fed up with speculations about the state government’s next move regarding the rickety structure. Locals said that the remaining section of the flyover has become rusty and may collapse once again.

The incident also took the life of Gulab Mali, a roadside hawker. He used to do business on the sidewalk near the flyover. His son Bikash Mali got annoyed when asked about the elections.

“Why should I bother about casting my vote? The Lok Sabha elections are almost over and all the political parties have said precious little about the future of this flyover which took my father’s life,” said Bikash.

Bapi Das, the secretary of the Flyover Hatao Abhiyaan Samiti, an organisation of locals agitating for dismantling the structure, said “How can it take so long for the state government to take a call on the issue. Is four years too short a time for taking a decision?”

Local TMC candidate (Kolkata North constituency) Sudip Bandyopadhyay said: “Some issues are being raised by locals regarding the flyover which will be looked into."

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