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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.

Then.
“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.
Now. 
“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.

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Esheche Poriborton, Jeetegaichi Kolkata!

Mamata or no Mamata, the kind of “poriborton” Kolkata Knight Riders have shown over the past two years has been incredible. This year was a class apart. New Dawn, New Knights, New beginning was what the official site flashed for the new season. And truly so, “aami Kolkata te oie Notun Josh ta dekhte paari” (The new spirit could be seen in kolkata) as some Bengalis would say.

Shah Rukh Khan told us to believe. 
A win looked impossible when CSK scored 190, and appeared even more distant when Gautam Gambhir went with only 3 on the board, and it seemed all over when Jacques Kallis walked back with 16 needed off 7.
Never wanting to sound  like Manchester United, yet we believed. The story was yet to unfold. A no-ball that followed. MS Dhoni now realizes no balls don’t mean no pepsi, but they mean no cup.

Gautum Gambhir asked us keep faith. 
Who can be asked better for ‘this’ other than Kolkata, who for all these five seasons kept their hopes intact. We were patient. We lost the first season. Felt ashamed in the second. Suffered in the third. Came closer in the fourth. To win in the fifth.  On KKR, the city had pinned its hopes of redemption every year. And the prayers of millions were eventually answered.

Better late than never. Just a case that ‘Men in Yellow’ can’t do cup hatricks always. Aar Korbo na. Aar Lorbo na. Jeetaigechi re. 

Summers was all about cricket. The blog does reflect the hangover. Too much. IPL khatam. Paisa hajam. Poriborton needed in ideas. Need to start thinking hatke from cricket. Till then, keep reading. Thank you! 🙂

When shall it be fixed?

Metro Railways has always been coming to our needs. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Metro Trains has been one of the most loyal friends to we, Kolkata people.
It has been the best of teachers. It taught us to be patient. Standing at the station, waiting may seem bitter but the sweet fruit shall soon arrive. And, there will be your destination before you gulp your fruit down.
It taught us that being slow and steady is a trend of the past. Modern times need everything Fast and Furious.
It seems now that we have lost a friend and the teacher has retired. Metro Railways cannot be trusted.

No, it is not because of Bob Biswas that he may add more bitterness while standing on the station. Bob Biswas and DK Bose have made West Bengal proud. Neither because of Milan Damji (Kahaani Hangover!). They both are a story of the past. Done and dusted and killed of course. And if it is anybody who needs to be nomoshkaared, it should be the metro officials. Oke ek minute bole, maara deva uchit. Shaala, aamader keto minute waste kore protidin. (My bengali is not too good. Studied only till 8, now in 11. Done and dusted and forgotten! 😛 )

The so called scheduled time for the train’s arrival is no scheduled time. It is just to tell you, that the train will not arrive on this time, it may arrive on any other time. If compared to honey bee hive, metro train is no less than it. The situation is exactly the same. Nowadays when I look at the train whiz past me before stopping at the station, on the inside I see a swarm of people being tortured because somebody has forced them in the deck and got them underground to run the train at speed. On the inside the scene is better. Ohh wait. It is excellent. With A/C trains now, you will enjoy the facility of train scented with sweat. With so many people, you may almost come close to taste Carbon Dioxide.

I thought the whole post out in a jolly Metro ride that stopped at times between stations for me to be more focused. The inspiration came when I couldn’t get on a 10:15 Kavi Nazrul bound train which came at Sovabazar Sutanati at 10:18 because there was no space was me to get on. I tried twice. Couldn’t get in the peripheral part. I gave up.  Huh! Was fortunate to get on the other train because had a man more desperate to board this train pushing me in! 😀

I thought for a moment, “Metro Railway has really degraded if a thin man like me cannot fit in to board the train.” This blog post is more of a question to the Metro Officials if we can expect something better. The solution does not lie in the fact that – if you have problem, stop travelling – the solution lies in the face that – we all are facing problem which shall be fixed.

When shall it be fixed? – I did not get an answer to this, and thus this blog post. I beg your pardon, Sirs and Mams and Didis.  I beg your pardon. 

Is this the direction our train is heading?

Tags – #MetroRailway #Kolkata #KolkataMetro

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