Fearing collapse due to overcrowding during Durga puja, the Bidhannagar City Police on Tuesday decided to close a foot overbridge at Laketown in Kolkata. Some people had earlier complained that the foot overbridge was shaking due to heavy crowd on Sunday, the day of Panchami.
Laketown is a major traffic intersection as most pandal hoppers converge at this point to either visit the famous Durga puja pandal at Shree Bhumi or further move towards Salt Lake. The area has in its vicinity several puja pandals, visited by thousands of people.
The foot overbridge has been overcrowded since the beginning of the festivities.
“The Public Works Department (PWD) wrote to us citing that the foot overbridge has a carrying capacity of 18 people. The bridge can't withstand huge crowd during the Durga pujas. The letter also stated that there were 800 people on each foot overbridge till Panchami and it was shaking. Keeping safety in mind the foot overbridges are closed,” said a senior official of Bidhannagar City Police.
As an alternative, the Shreebhumi and Golaghata underpass has been opened for incoming pedestrian traffic and Bangur underpass for going towards the Kolkata flank. Further, five autos and a bus for elderly people and residents have been kept on standby at Laketown crossing for cross over.
The Shree Bhumi pandal in the area has ‘Padmavat’ as its theme this year.