National

Kolkata flyover: Political push, tech fault could be crash cause

he inordinate delay in executing the work and Mamata Banerjee's subsequent rush to open the 2.2km Vivekananda Road flyover seem to be its undoing, literally.

The 2.2-km Vivekananda Road flyover, being constructed since 2009, has been beset by delays. Has the delay caused fatigue in execution? Amid perpetual postponement, in November last year, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced opening the flyover by February 2016, not caring that 24% of the work was still left.

With an eye on the assembly elections, the chief minister in November last year-at a Jagaddhatri Puja event-had declared the inauguration of the flyover by February 2016, ostensibly not paying much thought to the fact that 24% of the work was left. Informed by her urban development minister Firhad Hakim that the deadline was implausible, she relented to postpone the date but maintained that it should be finished by September. As a result, immense pressure was apparently put on the implementing agency, KMDA, and builder IVRCL to meet the deadline, the 10th since the project started in 2009.

Hyderabad-based IVRCL bagged the contract on a turnkey basis on February 24, 2009, with a budget of Rs 164 crore and the deadline set at the end of 18 months. But as the construction started in December 2009, the design for the overpass -intended to be one of the longest in the city, connecting Girish Park in north Kolkata to Howrah-had to be changed innum

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