Nitin Gadkari Clarifies After Bihar Bridge Collapse

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Key Points:

  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari clarified that the collapsed bridge in Araria, Bihar, was not constructed under the Union Road Transport Ministry.
  • The bridge’s construction was managed by the Bihar Government’s Rural Development Ministry.
  • The 183-meter-long bridge, intended to improve connectivity between Araria and Kishanganj districts, collapsed before opening to traffic.

Detailed Breakdown: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari addressed the recent bridge collapse in Bihar’s Araria district, clarifying that the Union Road Transport Ministry was not responsible for its construction. The bridge, spanning 183 meters over the Bakra river near Parharia Ghat, was managed by the Bihar Government’s Rural Development Ministry. Gadkari’s office posted on X (formerly Twitter), stating that the construction work was under the jurisdiction of the state government.

The bridge, which was close to completion, collapsed on Tuesday, marking the seventh such incident in Bihar since 2023 and the second this year. Fortunately, there were no casualties, as confirmed by Araria district magistrate Inayat Khan. She noted that the bridge was not yet operational because the approach road was incomplete. A technical team has been sent to investigate the cause of the collapse.

The project, costing ₹7.79 crore, aimed to reduce travel time and facilitate easier movement between Araria and Kishanganj districts. The bridge’s construction faced issues due to frequent changes in the river’s course. Rural works department executive engineer Ashutosh Kumar mentioned that action would be taken against the contractor after a thorough investigation. He suggested that recent attempts by locals to alter the river’s flow between the bridge pillars might have contributed to the collapse.

This incident is part of a troubling pattern in Bihar. Earlier in March, an under-construction bridge over the Kosi river collapsed in Supaul district, resulting in one death and ten injuries. Last year, a 20.1-meter under-construction bridge over the Dumuhni River in Purnea’s Baisi block also collapsed shortly after concrete work was completed. These repeated failures highlight ongoing challenges in infrastructure development and safety in the region.

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