• Kolkata gets one more clickable landmark
    Times of India, 05 December 2020
  • Kolkata: Attracted by the city’s latest landmark, thousands of shutterbugs from Behala and New Alipore thronged the mint-fresh Majerhat bridge with friends and families till late on Thursday evening and again early Friday morning to shoot photographs and videos of the city’s only cable-stayed road overbridge.

    Armed with cell phones, selfie sticks and digital cameras, people climbed and walked along the bridge till pedestrian movement was barred. Even motorists drove slowly sticking their cellphones out of the car windows to click the bridge on the go. The bridge tourism had traffic cops struggling to keep vehicles moving on the bridge. Cars inveriably slowed down as they reached midway for the perfect picture while bikers even parked their two-wheelers to take selfies.

    “The bridge is finally here. How could I give it a miss and not ride down to have a first-hand experience? I shot some selfies and made a video of the bridge and sent it to friends’ WhatsApp group. I had no work on this side of the city but rode it just for fun,” said Sudipto Paul, a resident of Behala Roy Bahadur Road.

    A bunch of friends — all in their mid-twenties — were also found driving their car and slowing down as they reached the place where 260m deck slab of the bridge is strung together by 84 cables — all imported from Switzerland — to take photographs. “We will come back again at night when the vehicular pressure would be less and take a groupfie in the backdrop of the lit-up bridge,” said one of them while continuing to make a video from the moving car.

    An even larger crowd had gathered at the bridge on Thursday evening that stayed till 11.30am, making video calls, shooting photographs and loads of selfies. “I was a regular passenger on the bridge but since it collapsed, I have been forced to take alternative routes. Now that the bridge is up again, I came with my entire family to be here on the historic day,” said Suman Chakraborty, a pharma executive and resident of Sarsuna while taking a photograph of his wife Rupa and son Sourik with the plaque ‘Jai Hind Bridge’ in their background.

    A string of blue-and-white miniature lights fixed to the lamp posts and wrapped around the cables provided ample illumination and the perfect background for low-light selfies. Swarnali Das, a Class XII student, was found taking a groupfie with her entire family in its backdrop.

    Many had their helmets on their head or in their hands after parking the two-wheelers on Diamond Harbour Road opposite to Kolkata Mint. “I had gone out for an evening ride with my friend. She saw a friend making a Facebook live video from the bridge. We didn’t waste much time and came over here to have a stroll on the lit-up bridge,” New Alipore resident Soumyajit Das told TOI on Thursday evening.
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