PIL filed in Supreme Court over multiple bridge collapse incidents in Bihar: [4.7.2024]

A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Bihar government to undertake a structural audit and set up an expert committee to identify bridges that can be either strengthened or demolished based on the findings.

10 incidents of bridge collapse have been reported in Bihar's Siwan, Saran, Madhubani, Araria, East Champaran and Kishanganj districts in over a fortnight. Many have claimed that heavy rainfall might have contributed to the incidents.

The PIL, filed by advocate and petitioner Brajesh Singh, raised concerns about the safety and longevity of the bridges in the state that witnesses floods and heavy rains during monsoon.

Besides setting up a high-level expert panel, it also sought real-time monitoring of the bridges as per the parameters of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

In the PIL, the petitioner said that it was a matter of grave concern that Bihar is the most flood-prone state in India. "The total flood-affected area in the state is 68,800 square km which is 73.06 per cent of its total geographical area," the PIL stated.

"Hence such routine accrual of the incident of falling bridges in Bihar is more disastrous as the lives of people at large are at stake. Therefore the urgent intervention of this court is required to save the lives of people, as the under-construction bridges before its accomplishment collapsed routinely," the petitioner said.

In view of the bridge collapse incidents, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed the road construction and rural works departments to conduct a survey of all old bridges in the state and identify those that require immediate repair.

05 Jul 2024