A GLORIOUS PAST

100-yr-old engg firm celebrates b’day by anchoring 110-yr-old Tallah tank repairs

Sunil Kumar Sardar, chairman and managing director, Bridge and Roof, said, “The PSU’s success story is made of mega projects across India and Bengal. But we are especially honoured to be associated with the Tallah tank, which is being renovated for the first time in its 110 years of existence. The project is close to our hearts not only because it supplies water to the city, but also because of the challenges involved.”

B&R, which started as a modest fabricating agency out of its Howrah workshop on January 16, 1920, had built the Lucknow railway station by 1925. On the brink of disinvestment in 2016 when the turnover was Rs 1,434 crore, now there’s no looking back for the Rs 3,082 crore company.

“In five years, we want to touch Rs 5000 crore. We are hiring 75 graduate engineers this year, from premier institutes like Jadavpur University,” Sardar said. “We would like you to visit our factory, covering 13 acres in Pilkhana, and check all that we manufacture — from girders, Bailey bridges to portable cabins. Soon, we will resume wagon repairing and manufacturing. We are trying to enter roadways as well,” he said. Sardar also spoke about B&R setting up cement plants in Nepal and Syria and building Asia’s longest Bailey bridge at 15,000ft altitude in Leh.

Asked to list key initiatives in Kolkata, he mentioned the old terminal building of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose airport, Science City, Metro and Circular Rail expansions, New Town’s arterial roads and the ongoing Eco Park Solar Dome.

“We have been repairing Tallah tank since 2017 without disrupting water supply. Knowing that the water most of Kolkatans drink comes from this overhead tank that is oneand-a-half times the size of the football ground at Salt Lake stadium, which, again, has been built by us, we are extra cautious. The structure is difficult to access and we had to develop a unique strategy for it, with help from the JU and IIT-Kharagpur experts, along with engineers from Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).”

They are repairing one chamber at a time. “A sequence of operation had to be developed. Steel had to be added without increasing the weight of the tank. The basic support structure couldn’t be changed,” Sardar added.

Times City

100-yr-old engg firm celebrates b’day by anchoring 110-yr-old Tallah tank repairs