Aguvanighat bridge on river Ganga in Bihar collapses, yet again

SP Singla is building the four-lane bridge at the cost of ₹1,710.17 crore and the bridge was due to be inaugurated by the end of this year


Khagaria: An under-construction bridge on river Ganga between Aguvanighat in Khagaria and Sultanganj in Bhagalpur districts of Bihar collapsed on Sunday evening. One person is reportedly drawn in went missing. This is second time when the portion of same mega-bridge caved in.

A video shared by All India Radio shows the bridge collapsing. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has ordered probe and has asked additional chief secretary, road construction department, Pratyay Amrit to probe the incident and identify those responsible for the incident.

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Slabs connecting three pillars in the midst of river collapsed and its debris fell into the water. The area falls under Parvatta police station area in Khagaria district of Bihar. The local administration officials have reached the spot.

Earlier in April, a portion of the same bridge on Bhagalpur side cave in allegedly under the impact of strong wing and heavy rains overnight. The bridge is being constructed by SP Singla Construction limited for Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL) at the cost of about ₹1,710.17 crore. Foundation of the 30 span bridge was laid by CM Nitish Kumar in 2014 with a deadline to finish it by 2017.

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Khagaria district magistrate Amit Kumar Pandey said that a sub-divisional magistrate, block development officer and police personnel have reached the spot to take stock of the situation. “One person, supposedly a guard, is said to be missing. We are trying to figure out the person,” said Pandey.

Officials are analysing the extent of damage caused to the bridge. “It is a major negligence. A high-level probe will be carried out and guilty will be punished”, Sultanganj MLA Lalit Kumar Mandal said.

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“The slab of the bridge between pillar nine and 13 has collapsed. We have not received any information about any kind of damage. The cause behind the collapse is being probed”, Bhagalpur district magistrate Kumar Anurag told the website.

Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav said, “Earlier when the bridge had collapsed, we were of the opinion that all the segments should undergo checks. A review meeting was also held in this regard. IIT Roorkee had blamed storm for the collapse of the bridge on April 30 last year. We had doubts over its design and had decided to demolish it and reconstruct the bridge”.

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State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Samrat Chaudhary, who hails from Parbatta block of Khagaria, said that the incident exposed the model of development of the Nitish Kumar government. “The bridged was proposed to provide smooth access to the devotees of Nepal to reach Sultanganj and go on pilgrimage to Baidyanath Dham temple in Deoghar for Jalabhishek. Once the bridge is complete, Birpur in Nepal will be 200km away from Sultanganj,” said Chaudhary.

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