Sunday, October 23, 2011

Utter carelessness behind Darjeeling bridge collapse

Thirty year old Mingma Lama cannot come to terms with reality. The past few hours has snatched her elder brother- the only earning member of her family and her niece, a brilliant student. Sobbing uncontrollably she stated "Only we know what we are going through. I had repeatedly asked my brnot to go but he did not pay any heed. It is owing to utter carelessness that so many people lost their lives."

A crowd trying to cross over a suspension bridge in Bijanbari, 38 km away from Darjeeling town, resulting in its metal cable anchor being uprooted owing to the load and the entire bridge collapsing. The official death toll stands at 32 mainly women and children along with 130 injured.

The crowd had gathered to hear Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Chief Bimal Gurung's address along with an entertainment programme.

"Why did they organise such a programme in the wilderness? They could have easily done it inside Bijanbari town. Everyone knew that crowds would swell and the frail bridge would not support such crowd. When the bridge was in such condition why hadn't the administration done proper maintenance or declared the bridge unsafe? Why had they allowed so many people to cross over all at once" questioned Lama.


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