26 February, 2021

Howrah Bridge Diary

Amitabha Ghoshal on the 75th anniversary of Howrah Bridge, the silent hero of many a film.

Howrah Bridge Diary
Much Water Has Flown

We mark the anniversaries of people, even inst­itutions, but seldom keep track of the age of the magnificent structures surrounding us, till one day, they begin to show signs of distress, and a witch-hunt begins to identify a scapegoat! It was, therefore, a surprise when that warm invitation came from the engineering advisor to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. It was the centenary of the famed Hardinge Bridge (aka Sarah Bridge), across the lower Ganges. My association: I was the engineer entrusted with repair of major damages inflicted on it during the 1971 war. An unusual assignment, it had called for innovative solutions, and urge­ntly—the railway bridge was the lifeline of a newborn country recovering from war. Now, we got a fabulous reception, including a trip to the bridge by a special train. Judged against the utter negligence the engineering community suffers in our country, being honoured thus was a dream come...

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