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Photo: Aftab Alam Siddiqui

Bridge Collapse in Araria: Bihar Government Suspends Four Engineers, Orders High-Level Investigation

By Neeraj Kumar

Patna: The bridge constructed over the Bakra River in Sikti, Araria, Bihar collapsed on Tuesday. The Nitish government has taken a tough stance on this incident, suspending four engineers so far in connection with the bridge collapse at Pardia Ghat. Two engineers were suspended immediately on Tuesday, and an order has been issued to suspend two more.

The engineers suspended include the then Executive Engineer Anjani Kumar, Assistant Engineer Virendra Prasad, and Junior Engineer Manish Kumar. A four-member team has now been formed to conduct a high-level investigation into the bridge accident.

The investigation team will comprise Purnia Chief Engineer Nirmal Kumar and Dr. Sanjeev Sinha from the State Technical Agency. Additionally, Rural Works Minister Ashok Chaudhary has filed an FIR against the contractor Sirajur Rahman and has directed that his company be blacklisted. This directive has caused considerable commotion within the department.

Officials from the Rural Works Department are currently visiting Pardia Ghat. The high-level team formed at the government level will travel from Patna to Araria to investigate the remains of the collapsed bridge and determine the cause of the collapse. The special team is required to submit its investigation report to the government within seven days. On Wednesday, Araria DM Inayat Khan, along with departmental officials, also inspected the collapsed bridge.

The bridge at Pardia Ghat over the Bakra River in Sikti block collapsed and sank into the river on Tuesday due to a sudden flow of water from Nepal. Three pillars of the bridge were completely destroyed in the incident. The bridge, which cost 12 crores to build, consisted of a total of eight pillars. The 181-meter-long bridge was initially scheduled to be completed in 2020, but construction was delayed due to COVID-19 and floods. The construction was nearly complete, with only the approaches on both sides of the bridge left to be constructed, but the bridge collapsed before these could be finished.


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