Kolkata flyover tragedy: BJP attacks Mamata on links with firm

Kolkata: Claiming that West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress had “prior links” with the company constructing the flyover which collapsed killing at least 26 people, the BJP on Saturday held Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responsible for the disaster.

Addressing media persons here, BJP national secretary S.N. Singh claimed that Banerjee as the then railways minister, had awarded a project to the Hyderabad-based IVRCL despite being aware that the company was “blacklisted”.

“IVRCL was blacklisted in 2009 and due to its negligence two workers were killed during a project in Hyderabad. Despite that, CPI-M gave this big project to the company.

“The chief minister is now trying to evade responsibility by saying that the contract of the flyover was awarded to IVRCL by the (erstwhile) Left Front government. This is true, but when the Trinamool came to power in 2011, they reviewed the project but chose to continue with the company.

“The TMC government continued to engage the company for the project, despite knowing the fact that it was not only blacklisted, rather a CBI probe was being done against it for alleged irregularity in a housing project,” said Singh.

Quoting an IRCON document, he claimed that Banerjee as the railways minister in 2011 had awarded it the contract for building the railway tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The company’s links with the Trinamool goes back to when Mamata was the railways minister. She then had awarded a contract for building the Srinagar-Udhampur-Baramula tunnel.

“The work commenced under another TMC leader in 2011 who was the railway minister (Dinesh Trivedi) and continued under (then railways minister) Mukul Roy. But the project was eventually terminated in 2014 as only 10. 64 percent was completed,” said Singh.

Holding the Left Front “equally responsible” for the Thursday’s Vivekananda Flyover crash, Singh said Banerjee cannot escape her responsibility as the Trinamool’s links with company since her railways minister days, was established.

Expressing apprehension of a “cover up”, Singh demanded Banerjee to go for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.