Nitin Gadkari clarifies after bridge ready to be inaugurated collapses in Bihar's Araria - Hindustan Times
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Nitin Gadkari clarifies after bridge ready to be inaugurated collapses in Bihar's Araria

Jun 18, 2024 09:17 PM IST

The bridge, constructed by the state government, was not opened to the public as approach roads to the bridge were yet to be constructed.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday issued a clarification that the bridge which collapsed in Bihar’s Araria district was not constructed under the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry. Gadkari said that the construction was overseen by the Rural Development Ministry of the Bihar government.

A bridge collapses into the Bakra river at Padkiya Ghat, in the Sikti block area of Araria, Bihar, Tuesday, June 18, 2024.(PTI)
A bridge collapses into the Bakra river at Padkiya Ghat, in the Sikti block area of Araria, Bihar, Tuesday, June 18, 2024.(PTI)

"The bridge that collapsed in Araria, Bihar was not constructed under the Union Road Transport Ministry. Its work was going on under the Rural Development Ministry of the Bihar Government," Office of Nitin Gadkari posted on X.

The 183-meter-long bridge, expected to open to traffic soon, collapsed on Tuesday, marking the seventh bridge collapse in Bihar since 2023 and the second this year.

Araria district magistrate Inayat Khan confirmed that there were no casualties.

“It was not operational as the approach road was not complete… Hence no casualty has been reported,” Khan told HT over the phone. She added that a technical team has been dispatched to investigate the cause of the collapse.

The bridge was under construction over the Bakra river near Parharia Ghat in the district’s Sikti block, on the Araria-Kishanganj road. The project, costing 7.79 crore, was intended to reduce travel time between Araria and Kishanganj districts and facilitate easier movement for residents in the Sikti and Kursakanta blocks.

Rural works department executive engineer Ashutosh Kumar said action will be taken against the contractor after an investigation. Kumar said the frequent changes in the course of the river contributed to the incident.

“Some days ago the locals had tried to change the course of the river between the two pillars of the bridge which may have caused the collapse.”

This incident is part of a troubling pattern in Bihar. In March, an under-construction bridge over the Kosi river collapsed in Supaul district, resulting in one death and ten injuries. Last year, a 20.1-meter under-construction bridge over the Dumuhni River in Purnea’s Baisi block collapsed shortly after concrete work was completed.

With Bureau inputs

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