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Newly-Constructed Bridge Collapse in Bihar before Inauguration

Newly-Constructed Bridge Collapse in Bihar before Inauguration

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NEW DELHI, June 18: A portion of a newly-constructed bridge collapsed in Bihar’ Araria on Tuesday before inauguration. The concrete bridge built at a cost of Rs 12 Crore over the Bakra River came apart in seconds.

No casualties were reported. The bridge connected Sikti and Kursakanta blocks. This is the second bridge collapsed in last one year in Bihar.

Visuals showed the bridge, over the fast-flowing Bakra River, tilted on one side and a crowd gathered on the banks of the river near the bridge, recording the moment it collapsed. The bridge was constructed for ease of commute between Kursakanta and Sikti in the Araria district and was waiting to be inaugurated.

A video of the incident was widely shared on social media. Sikti MLA Vijay Kumar said, “The bridge has collapsed due to negligence by the construction company’s owner. We demand that the administration should conduct an investigation.”

The collapsed portion washed away within seconds and the people started running toward safety. In another video, a few people are standing dangerously close to the edge of the remaining portion of the bride. While many people are standing under it. A major part of the collapsed portion was built over the river. The section built on the banks of the Bakra River remains intact.

Collapse of under-construction or newly-constructed bridges is nothing new in Bihar. Earlier this year in March, at least one person was killed and 10 others were injured after an under-construction bridge collapsed in Supaul. The incident took place at Maricha, between Bheja and Bakaur, when a slab of an under-construction bridge being built over the Kosi River collapsed.

In June 2023, over 190 meters of the completed portion of the Aguani-Sultanganj four-lane under-construction bridge in Bihar’s Bhagalpur collapsed and submerged in the River Ganga. Around 100 metres of this under-construction bridge from Sultanganj-end had fallen into the river the year before too.

The bridge was being built at a cost of ₹ 984 crore over the river Kosi. The accident bears an uncanny resemblance to the collapse of an under-construction bridge in Bihar’s Bhagalpur, which had sparked a war of words between the state government and the then opposition BJP.

Then-Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav had said, “All segments will be technically analysed to know the exact reason behind it. This was the second collapse. After the first incident, an inquiry into the reasons was called in November 2022. The probe was being done by the IIT Bombay, IIT Roorkee and National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) professors to find the technical reason behind the incident. IIT Roorkee attributed the bridge collapse on April 30, 2022 to a thunderstorm. We had doubts over its design and had decided to demolish it and reconstruct the bridge.”

(Manas Dasgupta)


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