A bridge across the Mindhola River connecting the villages of Mayapur and Degama in Vyara Taluka, Tapi, collapsed on Wednesday. The collapse of the yet-to-be-opened bridge has impacted roughly 15 towns. The bridge’s construction, which began in 2021 at a cost of Rs 2 crore, is now being accused of corruption. Residents complain that poor quality materials were employed in its construction.
Executive Engineer Nirav Rathod revealed that the construction of the bridge commenced in 2021 and incurred a cost of Rs 2 crore. An investigation led by experts will be conducted to determine the cause behind the bridge’s failure.
This incident follows a similar occurrence in the Bhagalpur district on June 4, where a section of the under-construction Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge over the Ganga River collapsed. The bridge was intended to connect Bhagalpur and Khagaria. In response, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar promised strict action against those found responsible.
“The bridge that collapsed had already suffered a collapse last year. It appears to be poorly constructed, resulting in its failure twice since April 2022,” stated Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during a press conference.
Immediately after the incident, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, who also holds the portfolio of Road Construction, revealed that the state government had plans to demolish the under-construction bridge due to structural flaws.
“A section of this bridge had collapsed on April 30 last year. We had sought the expertise of IIT-Roorkee, known for its construction knowledge, to conduct a study. Although the final report is pending, experts who inspected the structure informed us of serious defects,” explained Yadav.
Following the incident, the Haryana-based company awarded the construction contract received a show cause notice from the Managing Director of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam, with a 15-day deadline to respond. Additionally, the executive engineer responsible for overseeing the project was suspended due to negligence in quality control.
The bridge construction, which commenced in 2021 was near completion, with over 95 per cent of the work finished. However, the inauguration had not yet taken place before the collapse. Locals have raised allegations of corruption, accusing the contractor of using substandard materials during the construction, leading to the bridge’s failure.
This incident reminds tragic bridge collapse in Morbi, Gujarat, last year, which claimed the lives of 135 individuals. In response to that disaster, the government implemented stringent measures to ensure the quality and maintenance of bridges. However, the recent collapse in Tapi raises questions about the effectiveness of these measures, emphasizing the urgent need for rigorous supervision and accountability in infrastructure projects.