With Five More Incidents, 11 Bridges Collapse in 15 Days in Bihar

Patna, July 4 2024 : The collapse of five additional bridges in Siwan and Saran districts has brought the total number of bridge collapses in Bihar to 11 in the last 15 days, officials reported on Thursday.

In Siwan district, bridges collapsed at Parayane Tola over the Gandaki river, between Sikandarpur and Nautan over the Dhamahi river, and between Teghra and Tewtha panchayat over the Dhamahi river. In Saran district, bridges collapsed over the Gandaki river near Dhondanath temple and at Dandaspur Jangalvilas Tola.

The recent heavy rains in the region have raised water levels in the rivers, causing strong currents that led to the bridge collapses. Additionally, recent dredging operations have caused soil erosion near the bridge bases, contributing to the structural failures.

District Magistrate of Siwan, Mukul Kumar, noted that a recent survey identified eight bridges in Maharajganj block as dilapidated. Most of the recently collapsed bridges were 30 to 40 years old.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed authorities to ensure proper maintenance of all bridges in the state. In a review meeting with senior officials, Kumar ordered a technical assessment of all bridges and stressed the importance of a maintenance policy for bridges similar to that of the Road Construction Department. He warned that stringent punishment would be imposed on those found guilty of dereliction of duties.

In recent incidents, a bridge over Bund river in Khushi Dhangi village in Kishanganj district collapsed last Saturday, while another bridge in Bansbari village broke down on June 26. A bridge in Araria district collapsed on June 18, a small bridge on a canal of the Gandaki river in Siwan district gave way on June 22, an under-construction bridge in East Champaran district caved in on June 23, and a bridge in Madhubani district collapsed on June 27.

The collapse of 11 bridges in the past 15 days has sparked political controversy, with opposition parties in Bihar criticizing the Nitish Kumar government for alleged rampant corruption leading to these incidents.

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