Country’s largest under construction bridge collapses in Bihar; one killed, nine injured

Officials of NHAI have reached the spot to access the situation

March 22, 2024 11:08 am | Updated 12:23 pm IST - Patna

People gather after a part of an under-construction bridge over Kosi river collapsed, in Supaul, on March 22, 2024.

People gather after a part of an under-construction bridge over Kosi river collapsed, in Supaul, on March 22, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The country’s largest Bakaur bridge being constructed over Kosi river collapsed in Supaul district of Bihar on March 22 morning in which one person died and nine were injured.

The 10.2 km bridge across river Kosi is being constructed between Bheja and Bakaur in Madhubani and Supaul districts of Bihar. The bridge comprises 170 no of spans [pier 1 on Bheja side-pier No. 171 on Bakaur side]. Each span length is about 60m.

“Today an unfortunate incident has happened wherein an under-construction span (Pier No. 153-154) has collapsed. As per available report, total 10 labour’s trapped in the incident and all rescued. Unfortunately, one person died on the way to the hospital and others 9 are out of danger with minor injury. Adequate compensation for the deceased as well as injured victims is being arranged,” said Kaushal Kumar, Supaul District Magistrate.

He further said, “Three eminent bridge experts A.K. Srivastava, Ex-ADG MORTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways), Mahesh Tandon and G.L. Verma, have reached the site to assess the reason of accident and take necessary remedial measures. Senior officials of NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) Anil Choudhary, Member (Projects) have rushed the site to take immediate action on the matter.”

The original cost of the bridge was ₹1,200 crore, however it has now crossed ₹1,700 crore. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in 2014. This project was going on under Bharat Mala Project.

The approach road work is yet to be completed and it is the longest bridge in the country. It is also one kilometer longer than Bhupen Hazarika Bridge of Assam.

With the construction of this mega bridge, the distance between Supaul and Madhubani will be reduced to 30 km from 100 km.

Bridge collapse in Bihar is not new, last year in June, 200 meter stretch of Aguwani- Sultan bridge in Khagaria-Bhagalpur over river Ganga had collapsed.

Reacting on the incident, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Vijay Kumar Sinha said, “Today I have received information about the collapse of a part of the under-construction bridge over Kosi river in which one labourer has died and some other workers have been injured. This incident is very sad and unfortunate. The administration has been instructed to provide immediate help to the injured and provide appropriate compensation.”

Mr. Sinha also said that an investigation will be conducted into the collapse of the bridge and strict action will be taken as per rules against the guilty officials, engineers and the company constructing the bridge.

“Corruption will not be tolerated in a double engine government and no one can be given the freedom to loot public funds. If this comes to light in the investigation, then strict action as per law will be taken against the responsible people and the company. We are in constant touch with NHAI officials regarding this incident and are taking all necessary action,” Mr. Sinha said.

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