10th Bihar bridge to fall in 16 days, Nitish fumes

On Wednesday, two small bridges fell in Saran district — one in Janata Bazar and another in Lahladpur.
10th Bihar bridge to fall in 16 days, Nitish fumes

PATNA: In a series of mystifying bridge collapses in various parts of Bihar, yet another bridge gave way in Saran district on Thursday — the 10th such incident in 16 days. Frustrated by frequent cave-ins and a rising political temperature, the state government promised to act against negligent officials.

In the latest incident, a part of the bridge connecting Saraiya and Satua panchayats and built over the Gandaki fell, cutting off over 50 villages under Saran and adjoining Siwan district. The bridge was built by the local authorities around 15 years ago.

Saran district magistrate Aman Samir said a probe has been ordered to find out the reason for the collapse of small bridges in the district. “I personally visited the site and talked to the officials responsible for maintenance of the collapsed bridges. Desilting work and heavy rain in the area may have led to such incidents,” said Samir.

On Wednesday, two small bridges fell in Saran district — one in Janata Bazar and another in Lahladpur.

The incidents have raised concerns about the structural integrity of the older bridges in the state. Similar incidents were reported from Siwan, Madhubani, Araria, East Champaran and Kishanganj districts. CM Nitish Kumar has sought an inspection report of all under-construction and old bridges within two weeks. His orders came in a review meeting of the state government’s road and bridge maintenance policy with the officials of the departments concerned.

Plea in SC on structural audit of bridges

A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Bihar government to conduct a structural audit of all the existing and under-construction bridges in the state and demolish or retrofit weak structures. Petitioner Brajesh Singh said the total flood-hit area in the state is 68,800 sq km which is 73.06% of the total area of the state. He sought direction from the court to make an effective policy for the real-time monitoring of all bridges. He also said the right to life should mean the ‘right to life with dignity.’

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