The state of the Liluah overbridge from whose stairway a woman fell and suffered critical injuries a few days ago threatens to derail the government’s drive aimed at encouraging people to use overbridges and subways instead of walking across roads.
The overbridge – the only safe passage from one side of Liluah station in Howrah to another – is used by hundreds of people daily who choose not to risk their lives by walking across the railway tracks.
Residents say the two staircases leading to the carriageway turn into drinking dens and urinals at night.
“The overbridge and the stairways have been like this for years. I wonder whether the government is serious when it urges people to avoid jaywalking and use overbridges and subways instead,” said a resident.
When Metro visited the overbridge on Thursday afternoon, the landings were littered with broken liquor bottles and the place was reeking of urine.
“If you want to avoid the overbridge, you will have to enter the station and walk across the tracks at the risk of being run over by a train,” said Aarchi, the daughter of Madhuri Mishra, who had slipped through a railing-less section of one of the stairways leading to the overbridge and fallen 40ft to the ground on July 31 morning.
“When she was wheeled in, the only good thing about her was that we could find the vein in her neck. She was brought in on time,” said Pradeep Singh, a consultant with the emergency medicine team at CMRI hospital.
Madhuri’s lower jaw had smashed and had to be reconstructed. “We found several of her teeth dangling inside her mouth while the jaw was being reconstructed. Had they entered the respiratory track, the patient could have developed complications,” said maxillofacial surgeon Sujoy Mukherjee, who did the reconstructive surgery.
With no tooth on her lower jaw, Madhuri has a traction on her face to hold her newly created jaw together. “It would be months before she could eat solid food again,” orthopedic surgeon Rajiv Chatterjee said.
Published in The Telegraph, India