The collapse of an under-construction bridge over the Ganga river in Bihar has led to allegations from deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav that it was a deliberate demolition due to significant design flaws discovered by experts.
According to news agency PTI, videos of the collapse circulated widely on social media, attracting criticism from the opposition BJP. The bridge, known as the Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge, was intended to link the Khagaria district with Bhagalpur.
During a press conference, Tejashwi Yadav, along with Pratyay Amrit, the additional chief secretary of the road construction department, stated that no casualties were reported in the incident. They explained that the decision to demolish the bridge was made following a previous collapse of a section during a thunderstorm in 2022.
In response, the government had engaged researchers from IIT-Roorkee to analyze the structure, as mentioned by Yadav.
Amrit expressed that the government chose not to take any risks by waiting for the final report before dismantling sections of the bridge that were deemed “flawed.”
“It may be recalled that a portion of this bridge had collapsed on April 30 last year. I strongly raised it in my capacity as the then Leader of the Opposition. Upon coming to power, we ordered an inquiry and sought expert opinion…approached IIT-Roorkee, which is esteemed for its expertise in construction matters, to conduct a study. It is yet to come up with a final report but experts who had studied the structure had informed us that there were serious defects,” Yadav said at the press conference.
Yadav added that several ‘vulnerable’ parts of the bridge, said to have been built at an estimated cost of ₹1,700 crore, have already been pulled down due to structural flaws.
In response to the incident, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar instructed Amrit to provide a comprehensive report on the incident and emphasized the need for strict actions to be taken against those responsible.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) responded to the accusations made by the BJP by posting on Twitter that a majority of the construction of the bridge took place under the leadership of BJP ministers Mangal Pandey, Nand Kishore Yadav, and Nitin Nabin.
State BJP president Samrat Choudhary called for the resignation of Kumar, while former Bhagalpur MP Syed Shahnawaz Hussain requested an investigation into the incident, suggesting that it raises suspicions of “corruption.”
BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonwalla described it as “the bridge of corruption” and took a swipe at the CM. Another BJP spokesperson Priti Gandhi said Kumar should concentrate on his own state “instead of poking his nose in issues not concerning him”.