Saturday 10 December 2022
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PoliticsIndiaMamata Banerjee refuses to comment on Morbi but then says this

Mamata Banerjee refuses to comment on Morbi but then says this

Mamata Banerjee said she wanted to go to Morbi but was afraid the BJP would accuse her of doing politics, and then began ranting, maintaining it wasn’t politics

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she would not comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi merely because it was his state where the Morbi bridge collapsed. The West Bengal chief minister said there should be accountability for the tragedy but she would not do politics over it.

“I will not say anything about the Prime Minister as it is his state where the accident happened,” said Banerjee, who was leaving for Chennai from the Kolkata airport to attend a programme organised by West Bengal Governor La Ganesan Iyer.

As many as 141 people died after a suspension bridge collapsed in Gujarat’s Morbi on 30 October. Mamata Banerjee said that she wanted to go to Morbi but was afraid that the BJP would accuse her of doing politics. While the Gujarat government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the deceased, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family of those killed in the mishap.

Soon after the incident, many detractors of the prime minister dug out an old video that showed him delivering an election speech in 2016 when a bridge had collapsed in Kolkata. He was heard saying that it was divine intervention that the bridge had collapsed before the election to show the voters how corrupt their state government was.

Notwithstanding her ‘vow’ to not politicise the incident, Mamata Banerjee said, “Bengal has many bridges. We have had many instances of bridge collapse here but we have risen to the occasion and provided help spontaneously, unlike the government, which has not been able to help the victims as it is busy in elections.”

“A judicial inquiry should be done under the supervision of the Supreme Court. I will not say anything about the prime minister as it is his state where the accident happened,” said the West Bengal chief minister.

“People’s lives are important… My condolences. I don’t know how many dead bodies have been recovered. We have to look at this from a humanitarian ground but it’s a whoever built such bridges,” Mamata Banerjee said.

“I am very sad. I want to go to Morbi but if I go, then they will say I am doing politics. If I get the opportunity, I will go,” she added.

After the cable bridge collapsed in Gujarat’s Morbi district, Mamata Banerjee issued directions to check the status of all bridges in the state by the end of this month and prepare a report. “We have 1,500 bridges. These bridges should be audited properly. Accountability should be done but I will not do any politics,” she said.

West Bengal’s Minister for Public Works Department Pulak Ray said that he had held a meeting with senior officials of the department and engineers after the Morbi bridge collapse and decided to check all the 2,109 bridges in the state starting this month.

“All the engineers have been asked to check all the bridges by the end of this month and submit a report. If there is any defect in any bridge or if any bridge needs repairs, work should be taken up immediately. Most of these bridges are in rural and forested areas in the state and are quite old too,” said Ray.

The meeting ended with another decision to immediately repair the Coronation Bridge of Siliguri and also the bridge over River Kangsabati. The state public works department decided also to build some new bridges.

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