Sunday, July 21, 2024

Under Construction Bridge over Ganga collapses in Bihar

The construction of the 3.1-kilometre-long bridge connecting Aguani in Khagaria district with Sultanganj in Bhagalpur began in 2014 and was expected to be completed in 2019. The deadline has since been extended four times.

In a major setback to the ongoing construction of the four-lane Sultanganj-Aguani Ghat bridge across the Ganga in Bihar, its super structure connecting Sultanganj in Bhagalpur with Khagaria collapsed Sunday evening. According to sources, at least 30 slabs of several pillars, including pillar nos. 9, 10 and 11, measuring around 100ft, collapsed.

The estimated cost of the bridge is Rs 1,710 crore.

This is the second such collapse on the same under-construction bridge. In April 2022, the super structures of the pillar nos. 4, 5 and 6 had collapsed. The loose cable stand was stated to be the reason behind the incident whereas a section of people had blamed use of poor construction material for the 2022 mishap.

CM Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe into the bridge collapse and asked Pratyaya Amrit, additional chief secretary of the state road construction department, to identify those responsible and take stern action against them.

Nitish had laid the foundation on February 23, 2014. The bridge was projected to be completed by March 2020 but the completion has already been delayed by over three years. Now the Sunday incident came as a big setback for the government and people of Bhagalpur and Khagaria.

The 3.16km-long bridge would be the sixth one across the Ganga to connect the northern part of Bihar (NH 31) with the southern part (NH 80) between Patna and Bhagalpur, and the second bridge across Ganga in Bhagalpur district.

Loose cable blamed for bridge accident last year

Last year, a loose cable was blamed for accident, while there were also accusations of faulty and substandard material being used in the construction. The latest accident could set the completion of the bridge by a couple of years, at least, sources said.

The bridge would be the sixth on the Ganga to connect northern Bihar with its south, reducing travel time in a vast swathe covering Sultanagnj, Khagaria, Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul. The project covers 23.16km, with an approach road of 4km on Sultanganj side and 16km at other end.

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