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Bihar govt refutes reports of Sattarghat bridge being washed away in floods

A portion of the damaged bridge.

A portion of the damaged bridge.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Bihar government on Thursday refuted media reports that a bridge said to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a month ago over river Gandak in Gopalganj district was washed away on Wednesday in floods and said “only an approach road of a minor bridge was damaged”.

“The Sattarghat bridge has not been damaged, as nearly two kms away from it, an approach road of an 18-m-long minor bridge was cut due to surging swollen waters in river Gandak…this has happened because of unprecedented pressure of water in the river…however, the structure of the minor bridge has not been affected. The main Sattarghat bridge is totally intact”, said the government’s release, while adding, “There is no issue of any misappropriation in this project…this is a natural disaster”.

State Road Construction Department Minister Nand Kishore Yadav said, “The RJD leaders do not have any moral right to say anything on the issue of corruption…the bridge is intact and only an approach road of a minor bridge in the area was damaged, which too will be repaired as soon as the water recedes”.

Earlier, reports said the 1,440-m-long Sattarghat bridge inaugurated by Mr. Kumar on June 16 through video conferencing was washed away in flood waters on July 15, just 29 days after inauguration.

The foundation stone for the ₹263.47-crore bridge was laid by Mr. Kumar on April 5, 2012. The bridge connects Gopalganj district with Saran and East Champaran districts, reducing the distance between Motihari and Chhapra by 45 kms.

“On Wednesday, the swollen floodwater in river Gandak washed away the northern side of the newly inaugurated bridge and disrupted traffic movement causing great inconvenience to the commuters”, said local reports and people of Gopalganj.

Many rivers in Bihar, especially in the northern parts of the State, are currently swollen and flowing above the danger mark, giving rise to the threat of flood in those areas.

Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Tejashwi Yadav earlier referred to “loot and corruption” in the NDA government and tweeted, “The bridge constructed in eight years after spending ₹263 crore collapsed in just 29 days…the Bhismpitamah (godfather) of organized corruption Nitish Kumar ji will not speak even a word on this, nor he will sack the corrupt companion, the road construction minister…everywhere there is loot in Bihar”.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 2:37:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bridge-collapses-in-bihar-just-a-month-after-inauguration/article32099172.ece

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