Bihar bridge collapses a month after opening, opposition blames CM

The 1.44 km long ambitious bridge was constructed at a cost of ₹263 crore for eight years

A team of administration officials and engineers took stock of the situation. Photo: Twitter

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is facing the heat of the opposition after a bridge inaugurated by him in June collapsed in Gopalganj on Wednesday (July 15).

A portion of Sattarghat Bridge on Gandak river collapsed on Wednesday just a month after it was inaugurated on 16th June by the chief minister. The pressure was high as water flow increased in the river due to heavy rainfall.

The 1.44 km long ambitious bridge which was constructed at a cost of ₹263 crore for around eight years. The approach road leading up to the bridge was washed away, cutting off connectivity to many districts in north Bihar.

A team of administration officials and engineers took stock of the situation and assessed the damage on Wednesday.

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Opposition came down heavily at the Nitish Kumar led NDA government. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav slammed the CM for collapsing of the bridge. “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.

Going into immediate damage control mode the road construction department said that it was only 18 metres of the approach road that was washed away due to high pressure from the river, and that the main structure was absolutely safe. “Traffic will be restored on the road once water pressure reduces. There is no question of irregularities in its construction. This is a natural disaster,” said additional chief secretary, road construction department, Amrit Lal Meena, TNIE reported.

One of the Bihar cabinet ministers in 2017 had blamed rodents for the weakening of embankments as they created holes in them, resulting in heavy floods. The Bihar police too had blamed the rodents in drinking seized liquor from police station. Many took a jibe at this and asked the state government to not pin the blame on rodents again for the bridge collapsing.

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