Collapse Catastrophe


Tailors, juice-makers and a few other hawkers, who had always been at the Ganesh Talkies crossing for all eternity, were found missing the next day of the collapse. I do not have their contact numbers and why would I need one if I always knew where would they be found. The flyover collapsed right where they used to sit, but I cannot be sure if they are dead without contacting them. They weren’t on the list of dead people, like many others. I say, “like many others” without any evidence because living at a stone’s throw distance from the accident site, I really do not believe that only 24 people would have died. I severely hoped and wished if there were less of dead people, but tons of metal and concrete falling over one of the busiest crossings in North Kolkata would have definitely fell the curtains for many. All is being said without evidence; like laymen have access to evidence, otherwise.
I wonder, how many dead bodies were sidelined overnight. Bags and bags of chemical were sprayed the next day at the accident site to subside the smell of dead bodies. Vultures circled overhead suggestive of the fact that the debris has more to it than just metal and concrete.
It has just been a matter of one accident, otherwise, the flyover had left no stone unturned in creating problems for us, localites. My maternal grandfather, a heart patient, had to spend sleepless nights while the workers tried to drill in piers into the ground with unbounded decibels. It has been 6 years that Ganesh Talkies has not been free of dust, mud and dirt. Barricades in blue with the text, “We regret your inconvenience” clearly appeared to be more and more ironic as construction progressed. How can you undertake such a project in a residential area? The more I dwell deep in the history of this flyover, the more I feel for the deceased. Death under the flyover was obvious, it was always a question of who would die.

“We moved out in January 2013. Living next to the flyover became claustrophobic. The road got so congested. Our privacy was gone. We just could not take it any more,” the former resident of 10 Kali Krishna Tagore Street said.
Read full article here.
“This flyover has long blocked out the wind and sun from our lives. And if they decide to demolish it now, the structure will certainly crash into our home. Who will take responsibility if the section right above crumbles and falls on our home?” homemaker Sutapa Das, 41, demanded to know.
Read full article here.

The news of accident shook one and all at home. Calls went out to every kin, near and far. Calls came from friends, close and distant. It was scary to see the wreckage on television on the road used so frequently by all family members. A variance of half an hour in the timing of the collapse…

In November 2015, Mamata Banerjee had committed herself to opening by February a flyover which was already running 62 months behind schedule and barely 76 per cent was complete by then.Local residents have been complaining about the faulty construction to their MLA since years now and yet Mamata Banerjee had openly set targets for the project, thus supporting it. In stark contrast to the ambitious deadline, The Telegraph even pointed out the flaws in CM’s target here:
Land and locations, which I have learned to be the pre-requisite to any construction, still have not got a green signal. Why did she not breakdown on the corrupt construction company, then? Why is she distancing herself from the project now? Madam Chief Minister, who are you trying to fool by blaming the Left for tender allotments? Your brethren has sucked on similar sums of money from the blacklisted company.
The illogical deadline by our Chief Minister triggered by nonchalance of CDMA coupled with faulty engineering and workmanship has resulted in such adversities.
Untitled Diagram

Madam Chief Minister,

I have always been scared of flyovers: the height, the landings scare me enough.

I had a conversation with a dear friend today,

And we wondered what would cause more dismay:

Being on a flyover when it falls, or under it.

I am not sure yet which I’d prefer

Surely either would make me suffer.


People are stuck under the wreckage of the fallen bridge

And yet you carry on with your voters’ pitch.

You sling mud at the Left, the builders and all the rest

But you know full well it is your skills which have been put to test.


When you blame the Left,

Know that I am aware of what is right.

With you around, my future here is not very bright.

Most friends my age have left the city long ago,

I somehow couldn’t let go.

I couldn’t let go My city of Joy,

But now when I see the sorry state, I cry.


You announce some six figures in the name of relief,

Not once do you bow your head in grief.

Not once do you look at us in the eye,

You just continue to blatantly lie.


I watch English TV series a lot

Calamities, crime shows and murder plots.

Their level of critical management is my idea of copying the West,

A clock tower and LED lights are surely not their best.


You dig into your archives to deflect the blame,

The builders too have got no shame.

‘An act of God’, they say,

“Dear God, I hope you’re listening”, I pray.


Madam Chief Minister, it is time for you to step down,

If you can’t take responsibility for what goes wrong.

I’ve been sighing all day as I hear you talk

Governing a state is not cake-walk

My sympathy and support are both long gone,

I hope we find a replacement for you this time: someone really strong.

Source: Scribbling Sheet

The flyover fell. Ganesh Talkies was red. And I was ever so blue as they lifted the dead covered in white. Whatever be the colour, it was never under construction but just under corruption.


About Chetan

A twenty year old infant who fears if crows may shit on him or if Bengali aunties' umbrellas may prick him in the eye. He is currently waiting for Mamata Banerjee to leave Kolkata.

Posted on April 4, 2016, in Kolkata, Specials and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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