A newly constructed bridge over the Ganga river in Bihar collapsed on Monday, just a day before it was scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering a wave of criticism of his government’s infrastructure projects.
The 1.4-km-long bridge, which was built at a cost of Rs 264 crore under the Centre’s flagship Bharatmala scheme, was meant to connect two districts of Bihar – Gopalganj and Saran – and reduce travel time by an hour.
However, a portion of the bridge caved in due to heavy rain and strong currents in the river, leaving a huge gap in the structure. No casualties were reported as the bridge was not yet open for public use.
The incident has raised questions about the quality of construction and supervision of the project, which was executed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Opposition parties have blamed the Modi government for the mishap and accused it of neglecting Bihar’s development.
The Bihar government, which is led by Modi’s ally Nitish Kumar, has ordered a probe into the incident and assured action against those responsible.