Bridge collapse in Bihar, 10th in a fortnight

A 15-year-old bridge across the Gandaki river in Baniapur block of Saran district of Bihar collapsed on Thursday. This collapse marks 10th such collapse in North Bihar in the last fortnight.

The first bridge that collapsed on June 18 was situated in the Sikti block of Araria district, that borders Nepal. While there were no deaths or injuries reported in the collapse, according to the structural engineers and experts, the collapses are a result of deep-rooted corruption in the construction bridges in Bihar. According to the Additional Chief Secretary of the Water Resources Department, Chaitanya Prasad said, “The accident happened due to removal of soil. We will take action. The government is coming up with a comprehensive policy on the maintenance of bridges.”

“A bridge built in the colonial period had collapsed on Wednesday the second one, built 15-years-ago by the district administration, suffered the same fate on Thursday,” Saran DM Aman Samir said. While the former road construction department engineer J K Dutt said, “Basic causes are tinkering with bridge design, unspecified sand, concrete, & steel rods thinner than the approved thickness and diameter, use of sub-standard material, like low-value cement.”

The ten bridges that have collapsed in north Bihar during the past fortnight were situated in Siwan, Madhubani, Saran, East Champaran, Araria and Kishanganj districts. Meanwhile, the opposition party has attacked the central government. “Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar are silent over these incidents in Bihar. What happened to the claims of good governance and corruption-free government? These incidents show how corruption is rampant in every department of the state government,” RJD leader and leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, claimed.

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