Vidyasagar Setu, also known as the Second Hooghly Bridge, is a toll bridge over the Hooghly River in West Bengal, India, linking the cities of Kolkata and Howrah.With a total length of 823m, Vidyasagar Setu is the longest cable–stayed bridge in India. It was the second bridge to be built across the Hooghly River; the first, the Howrah Bridge to the north, was completed in 1943. Named after the educationist reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, it cost 3.88 billion to build. The project was a joint effort between the public and private sectors, under the control of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners .Initially, under the toll collection regime of the HRBC, daily traffic was recorded to be a minimum of 28,000 vehicles and a maximum of 39,000 vehicles in 2000, but fell to a maximum of around 30,000 vehicles by December 2002, when the management of the toll plaza was handed over to a private firm. Subsequently, the daily traffic reached a minimum of 45,000 vehicles and a maximum of 61,000 vehicles by early 2008, against a maximum capacity of 85,000 vehicles per day. The original management of the toll revenue collection by HRBC was consequently criticized for corruption and significant loss of revenue.HistoryPopulation and commercial activity grew rapidly after India gained independence in August 1947. The only link across the Hooghly River, the Howrah Bridge, between Howrah and Kolkata, was subject to much traffic congestion, with over 85,000 vehicles every day. This necessitated planning for a new bridge across the river so that it could connect to the major cities of Mumbai (Bombay), Delhi and Chennai (Madras) through the national highways located close to the bridge.