Bihar: Newly-built bridge constructed at cost of Rs 12 crore collapses in Araria

A portion of a newly-constructed bridge built at a cost of Rs 12 crore collapsed along the Bakra river in Sikti in Bihar’s Araria district on Tuesday, The Indian Express reported.

The 183-metre-long bridge between Araria and Kishanganj was not operational “as the approach road was not complete”, District Magistrate Inayat Khan was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times. “Hence, no casualty has been reported,” Khan said.

A technical team had been dispatched to the site to investigate the cause of the collapse, she added.

Frequent changes in the course of the river may have contributed to the collapse, Ashutosh Kumar, an executive engineer of the state’s rural works department said.

“Some days ago the locals had tried to change the course of the river between the two pillars of the bridge, which may have caused the collapse,” he said. Kumar added that action will be taken against the contractor of the bridge after an investigation.

Following the collapse, Union minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that the bridge was not constructed by his ministry.

“Its work was going on under the Rural Development Ministry of the Bihar Government,” he said in a clarification on social media.

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Sikti, Vijay Kumar Mandal, accused the state rural works department and the construction company for “complete negligence”, reported The Hindu.

“We are anticipating that the bridge would be strong and long lasting, however it is just the beginning of monsoon season and the bridge collapsed,” he said. “A strict action should be taken against the contractor and responsible people should be sent to jail.”

On March 22, the Bakaur bridge, which was being constructed over the Kosi river in the Supaul district, collapsed. One person died and nine others were injured in the incident.

In June last year, another four-lane bridge being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,716 crore over the river Ganga in Bhagalpur collapsed, according to the newspaper.

Tuesday’s bridge collapse in Bihar is second such incident in the state this year and seventh since 2023.


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