A bridge being built over the Ganga river in Bhagalpur district of Bihar, at a cost of ₹1,716 crore, collapsed on Sunday. The four-lane bridge, being built between Sultanganj in Bhagalpur and Aguwani in Khagaria district, collapsed for the second time. The State Government has ordered a probe into the incident.
Last year, the structure of the bridge collapsed due to strong wind and rain. Started in 2014, the deadline to complete the bridge has failed eight times.
Eyewitnesses said when the bridge started collapsing, many men were working on it. No reports of any casualties received till now.
The bridge was supposed to be ready in 2019. On February 23, 2014, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Aguwani Ghat bridge in Khagaria. On March 9, 2015, Mr. Kumar inaugurated the work, which started from 2016.
The work was slated to be completed by March 2019, but by that time even 25% of the work could not be done properly. Later, the State Government extended the deadline to March 2020, then to 2022.
Instead of penalising the construction company for the delay, the government kept on giving time to complete the work.
On April 30, 2022, the superstructure between pillar numbers 4 and 6 of the bridge fell due to strong wind and rain. At that time serious questions were raised about the construction work, however, no action was taken against the company. Instead, the company was given more time to complete the bridge work. The bridge is important because it connects north and south Bihar.
Soon after the news of bridge collapse, the Chief Minister spoke to road construction department officials and asked them to conduct a probe, apart from taking strict action against those responsible for it. Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav holds the road construction department portfolio, who later in the evening briefed the media, saying that strict action would be taken against the guilty.