India

Month after inauguration by Nitish Kumar, Rs 263 crore bridge collapses in Bihar

A month after being inaugurated by the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a portion of Sattarghat Bridge in Bihar's Gopalganj, constructed at a cost of Rs 263.48 crore, collapsed on Wednesday after water flow increased in Gandak River due to heavy rainfall.

The bridge was inaugurated by the Nitish on June 16.

Many districts in north Bihar have lost connectivity as the bridge has been washed away. At the same time, the pressure of water has also increased at the Saran embankment and if the situation remains the same then Saran district will also be affected by floods.

Administration officials took stock of the situation on Wednesday evening. The team of engineer Abhay Kumar Prabhat, team leader of the bridge corporation, reached and assessed the damage.

The bridge, constructed at a cost of Rs 263.48 crore, aimed to reduce road distance between different towns of East Champaran to Gopalganj, Siwan and Saran districts.

Bihar Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav claimed that incidents like washing away of roads and collapse of bridges happen in Bihar due to heavy rain. 

He claimed the approach slab that has collapsed is two kilometres away from the main Sattarghat Bridge and no damage has been caused to any bridge. 

"The approach slab that has collapsed is two kilometres away from the main Sattarghat Bridge, no damages have been caused to any bridge. Just the approach slab of a minor bridge has collapsed," said Yadav.

Opposition leaders and public alike slammed the state government over the collapse of the bridge.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav sought answers from the chief minister. 

"The bridge washed away after around 29 days of inauguration. The bridge was being constructed for eight years. Washing away of bridges has become a common thing in Nitish Kumar`s rule. Did he inaugurate the bridge before time just to gain some appreciation? We demand that the Bihar government should immediately blacklist the company that has constructed the bridge," said Yadav.

"A dam collapsed in Kahalgaon on the day of the inauguration...even rats damage the bridges in Bihar. How will the money be recovered if the bridges keep on collapsing? The Chief Minister committed 55 scams in 15 years. By paying money in RCP tax, as long as transfer posting takes place, the bridge will keep collapsing," he alleged.

In 2017, a minister in Nitish Kumar`s cabinet had blamed rats for making holes in the embankments for weakening the structures and allowing river water breach through them, thus resulting in floods in Bihar.

Yadav added that that the Chief Minister should give an answer to the public and media. 

"In Bihar, 16,000 rape cases have been reported in 15 years. Women and girls are being raped amid the lockdown. Around 1,900 rape cases were reported in 2019. Where is good governance? Rapes are taking place in isolation wards, Nitish`s conscience has drowned in the Bay of Bengal," said Yadav.

(With ANI inputs)

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