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HomeNews ReportsUnder construction for over 8 years, Nitish Kumar's dream project Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge over Ganga...

Under construction for over 8 years, Nitish Kumar’s dream project Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge over Ganga collapses again, a guard goes missing

SP Singla Constructions Limited is currently constructing this four-lane bridge for the Bihar Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL) at a total cost of ₹1710.77 crore.

On 4th June 2023, the under-construction Aguwani- Sultanganj bridge on the Ganga River collapsed near Sultanganj. This is the second collapse of the same bridge since April 2022. Though no casualties are reported yet, a guard was said to have gone missing after today’s collapse. Construction work was closed as it was a Sunday.

Three pillars and the superstructure of girders joining them collapsed causing damage to more than 100 meters of the bridge. Videos of the incident went viral on social media in which the bridge collapsing can be seen. The collapse took place at around 6 pm on Sunday. 

Yogendra Kumar, executive engineer of Bihar State Bridge Construction Corporation Khagaria said, “Some spans of the bridge have collapsed. We are on the way to the spot. Nothing specific can be said right now. We can clearly say something only after reaching there.”

District Magistrate of Khagaria – Amit Kumar Pandey said, “There is no news of any casualty so far. A team of officers is sent to the spot. We are also checking for the missing person.”

SP Singla Constructions Limited is currently constructing this four-lane bridge for the Bihar Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL) at a total cost of ₹1710.77 crore. The bridge is situated approximately 35 km west of Bhagalpur.

The quality of the construction work by this company was questioned when in April 2022, a part of this bridge succumbed to the impact of storm and rains that lashed the area. A part of this bridge caved in near Sultanganj on 30th April 2022. Around 36 spans of the superstructure suspended from pillar number 5 had collapsed due to a storm. Now this bridge collapsed again after 13 months.

In November 2022, a team of two experts from Canada visited Bihar to assess the reasons behind the bridge collapse that took place in April 2022. This team studied to find out how this bridge succumbed to thunderstorms and fast winds. However, its findings were not made public.

After today’s bridge collapse, Parbatta’s MLA Dr Sanjeev Kumar said that he had earlier raised questions in the state assembly regarding the quality of this construction work. He said that this is the dream project of the chief minister but the company is not doing quality construction here. The Parbatta MLA demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter and the registration of an FIR against the culprits. He also criticised SP Singla’s Project Director Alok Jha.

BJP leader Amit Malviya slammed Nitish Kumar over the collapse, asking whether he and Tejaswi Yadav will resign over the incident. He said that the bridge was started by Kumar in 2015 and was to be completed by 2020. He also noted that the bridge has collapsed for the second time.

The foundation stone of this 3,160-metre long bridge was laid by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on 23rd February 2014 at Parbatta in the Khagaria district. He then inaugurated the actual construction work of this bridge on 9th March 2015. The bridge has been described as Nitish Kumar’s dream project. The bridge construction was to be completed in 4.5 years, but the work has been slow, resulting in long delays. The work has been hampered by floods every year, and recently during the pandemic lockdown.

The approach road to this bridge from Khagaria spans 16 km while it is 4 km long from Sultanganj. If this bridge gets completed, the distance between Bhagalpur and Khagaria will significantly reduce.

On 22nd January 2019, CM Nitish Kumar asked BRPNNL to complete this bridge by March 2020. He specifically said this because the bridge holds great importance in order to reduce the load on the Vikramshila bridge near Bhagalpur. During the COVID-19 pandemic period, though there was a lockdown in India, many construction sites of infrastructure projects resumed earlier than regular civil life. However, the construction of this bridge was not completed. It lingered more after the 2022 collapse. Now, this collapse has delayed it more.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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