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10th bridge collapse in 16 days in Bihar, PIL filed in Supreme Court over multiple bridge collapse incidents

In a span of just over two weeks, Bihar has witnessed a concerning series of bridge collapses across several districts including Siwan, Saran, Madhubani, Araria, East Champaran, and Kishanganj

The latest incident occurred on July 4 in Saran district, marking the tenth collapse during this period.

Recent Incidents and Local Response

The collapse of a bridge over the Gandaki river in Saran’s Baneyapur block, constructed 15 years ago, prompted local authorities to initiate a high-level probe. Despite no casualties reported, two additional bridges collapsed in Saran within 24 hours, raising alarm among residents and officials alike amid heavy rainfall.

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Supreme Court

On July 4, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court urging immediate action from the Bihar government. Advocate Brajesh Singh, the petitioner, emphasized the necessity for a structural audit of all bridges in the state. The PIL highlighted concerns over bridge safety during Bihar’s monsoon season, advocating for an expert committee to assess and potentially strengthen or demolish vulnerable structures.

Government Response and Directions

In response to mounting incidents, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed Bihar’s road construction and rural works departments to conduct a comprehensive survey of aging bridges. The directive aims to identify bridges in urgent need of repair, aligning with parameters set by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for real-time monitoring and maintenance.

In response to mounting incidents, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed Bihar’s road construction and rural works departments to conduct a comprehensive survey of aging bridges. The directive aims to identify bridges in urgent need of repair, aligning with parameters set by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for real-time monitoring and maintenance.

The PIL underscores the critical need for proactive measures to safeguard public safety amidst Bihar’s recurring flood risks and monsoon challenges, emphasizing the potential catastrophic consequences of bridge failures on community livelihoods and infrastructure integrity.

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