A ship damages historical bascule bridge in Kolkata

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Kolkata, Mar 19 (ANI): The famed swing bascule bridge at Kidderpore Port in Kolkata was extensively damaged after an empty cargo ship towed by a tug crashed against the guard wall of the bridge on Wednesday.

This swing bascule bridge, Nazrul Setu named after rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, across an inlet of River Hooghly in the dock area has been a unique landmark of Kolkata.

It has been in operation for over seven decades, opening up to let the ships pass from one part of the docks to the other.

A ballast (empty) cargo ship M.V Jindal Tarani which was crossing the bridge struck the guard wall of the bridge, damaging the bridge's lower rails.

"The ship was moving from Dock number 2 to Dock number 1. The (starboard) side of the ship crashed against the guard wall of the bridge. Because of that the bridge's structures has been damaged and consequently, traffic also has been badly affected," said Mizwanur, a resident.

Authorities of the Calcutta Port Trust rushed to the spot. However, the engineers were unable to lower the raised span of the bridge since the mechanism, which made the spans swing has been extensively damaged.

After assessing the damage, salvage and repair work has been undertaken by the port authorities.

"When is it repaired it will start operating. It will take time to repair. The spans of the bridge sunk below will be removed with the help of a crane," said G C Biswas, Sub Inspector, Port Police Station, Kidderpore.

Nazrul Setu has been the lifeline of the dock area of Kolkata, linking Kidderpore with the headquarters of South Eastern Railway known as BNR, the King George (KG) Docks and the ship building unit of the Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers (GRSE). (ANI)

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