States & UTs

    "It is monsoon time": Manjhi defends Nitish Kumar on Bihar bridge collapses

    The Hawk
    July5/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Over the past 15 days, Bihar has witnessed the collapse of 10 bridges, highlighting concerns over infrastructure safety and maintenance.

    Manjhi on Bihar bridge collapses

    Patna (Bihar): Union Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday defended Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Bihar bridge collapses and said that the unusually heavy monsoon rains were the primary cause for the incidents.
    He said that the Bihar CM had given instructions to take action against those who were negligent
    "It is monsoon time. There has been an abnormal amount of rain, which is the reason behind the collapse of bridges. But the Chief Minister of the state is very sensitive towards the investigation," Manjhi told reporters.
    Over the past 15 days, the state has seen the collapse of 10 bridges, raising concerns about infrastructure safety and maintenance. A bridge collapsed in Bihar's Saran district on Thursday, marking the 10th such incident in the state in just over a fortnight.
    "He (Nitish Kumar) had a meeting yesterday and has given instructions that strict action should be taken against any kind of negligence," he added.
    Five bridges in Araria, Siwan, East Champaran, Kishanganj, and Madhubani districts collapsed across the state in June last month.
    The first in the series was the bridge collapse in Araria on June 18.

    Also Read: 

    On June 22, a bridge over the Gandak River in Siwan, approximately 40-45 years old, also fell. On June 23, a bridge under construction in East Champaran, costing around Rs 1.5 crore, collapsed, with locals blaming the use of substandard materials.
    On June 18, a newly constructed bridge over the Bakra River in Pararia village of Bihar's Araria district collapsed.
    State Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary on Thursday said that investigations are ongoing and action will be taken against negligent officers.
    "I am getting each and everything investigated. I have given directions for swift action. I will get a list issued--when was it built, who built it? As per the information we have received, they were built by recommendations of several MLAs. Everything is being investigated. Action will be taken, there is no doubt about it. Action will be taken against negligent officers," Choudhary said.
    Officials blamed engineers and contractors for the back-to-back incidents.
    Several projects, including the de-siltation of rivers, were initiated after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took feedback in Gopalganj and adjoining areas. It seems that engineers did not take care and the contractors were not careful, officials said, adding, "Engineers concerned seem to be at fault prima facie."
    Special teams have been sent to the spot, and strict action has been taken against engineers and contractors, they said.
    Officials further said that new bridges will be constructed and the cost of construction will be borne by the contractors concerned.
    Most of these bridges were thirty years old and the foundations were not very deep, they said, adding that the foundation was damaged during de-siltation.
    The bridge connecting Araria's Sikhti and Kursakatta was washed away before its inauguration.
    Last year, in June, a portion of a temporary bridge built on the Ganga in the Vaishali district of Bihar was partly washed away by strong winds. The temporary bridge connected Raghopur to the Vaishali District Headquarters.