With five more incidents, 11 bridges collapse in 15 days in Bihar

Patna, July 4 (UNI) With the collapse of five more bridges in Siwan and Saran districts, a total of 11 bridges have collapsed in the last 15 days in Bihar, officials said on Thursday.

According to reports received here, four bridges collapsed in Siwan while one bridge collapsed in Saran district. In Siwan, one bridge collapsed at Parayane Tola over Gandaki river, another connecting Sikandarpur and Nautan over the Dhamahi river and yet another connecting Teghra and Tewtha panchayat over the Dhamahi river.

Similarly, in Saran district, one bridge collapsed over the Gandaki river near Dhondanath temple and another over the Gandaki river at Dandaspur Jangalvilas Tola. With fresh incidents in Siwan and Saran districts on Wednesday, a total of 11 bridges collapsed in Bihar in the last 15 days.

Heavy rains in the last few days in the region have increased water levels in the rivers concerned. The rise in water level and strong current of the river led to collapse of the bridges.

Another reason behind the collapse of bridges is stated to be the dredging of rivers carried out recently, which caused erosion of soil near the bases of bridges.

District Magistrate of Siwan Mukul Kumar said that eight bridges of Maharajganj block were found dilapidated in a recent survey. Most of the bridges, collapsed recently were 30 to 40 years old, he pointed out.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday directed the authorities concerned to ensure proper maintenance of all bridges in the state. Kumar, in a review meeting with senior officials, ordered technical assessment of all bridges in the state.

‘At all costs, proper maintenance of bridges should be ensured, and those found guilty of dereliction of duties would be slapped with stringent punishment, he warned. Like Road Construction Department, a maintenance policy should also be prepared for bridges by Rural Works Department , which falls under its jurisdiction,’ he stressed.

As it is, a bridge had collapsed over Bund river in Khushi Dhangi village in Kishanganj district last Saturday while another bridge in the district broke down in Bansbari village on June 26. In similar incident, a bridge collapsed in the Araria district on June 18.

Another small bridge on a canal of the Gandaki river gave way in Siwan district on June 22 while an under-construction bridge caved in in East Champaran district on June 23. A bridge had also collapsed in Madhubani district on June 27.

The collapse of 11 bridges in last 15 days in Bihar has become a big political issue for the opposition in Bihar. All opposition parties in the state have slammed the Nitish Kumar government for rampant corruption in administration which led to such incidents.

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