Another under-construction bridge collapses in Bihar

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Khagaria: Barely three weeks after an under-construction bridge over the Ganga collapsed in Bihar’s Khagaria district, a portion of another bridge in Kishanganj district caved-in on Saturday, an official said.

In the incident, which took place around 400 km from state capital Patna, a pillar of the bridge over river Mechi collapsed, said Arvind Kumar, project director of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

“The under-construction bridge on NH-327E would have linked Kishanganj and Katihar upon completion”, the official said.

Claiming that nobody was injured in the accident, the official said, “a five-member team” of experts has been constituted to investigate the cause.

“Prima facie it seems to be an instance of human error during the piling process,” the official said.

The state government, meanwhile, clarified that the structure was part of a central project and the authority to take action rested with the NHAI.

Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, who holds the road construction portfolio, said, “The bridge is being constructed by the NHAI as part of the Centre’s Bharat Mala project. It has nothing to do with Bihar government.”

“It is the NHAI which is empowered to reward or punish officials or agencies concerned,” Yadav added.

On June 4, an under-construction bridge, which was supposed to connect Khagaria district with Bhagalpur, had collapsed.

The incident, which claimed the life of a security guard, had evoked a huge outcry since despite an initial deadline of November 2019, it remained incomplete.

The Bihar Engineering Services Association had expressed concern and stressed on the need for “structural audit” of all bridges, complete as well as under-construction, in the state.

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