A bridge over the Barnar river in Bihar’s Jamui district collapsed late on Friday night, depriving vast areas of road connectivity and once again putting a question mark on the quality of infrastructure in the state.
Heavy rain has lashed the state over the past two days. The bridge that got damaged was constructed in 2009.
At least eight of its pillars gave way as the water level and flow increased in the river.
A large number of people rushed to the bridge after getting information about the damage on Saturday morning.
Several of them blamed illegal sand mining close to the bridge and lack of proper maintenance for the mishap.
“The bridge was like a lifeline for the area. It had withstood heavier rains and water flow in the river since its construction. But of late, illegal mining sand close to the structure. Another reason is lack of proper inspection and repairs by the government,” Dharmendra Chaudhary, a resident told reporters.
Another resident Mukesh Shastri said that the “people in the area had opposed sand mining close to the pillars of the bridge several time. In turn, they were implicated in false cases”.
Meanwhile, administrative and police officers visited the place to take stock of the situation.
They made announcements on public address systems, asking people to stop using the bridge and put up barricades.
“The bridge has been damaged due to the pressure of water flow. We have stopped all kinds of vehicular movement on it, and have informed the senior officers,” Sono circle officer Rajesh Kumar said.
An under-construction bridge over the Ganga at Bhagalpur had collapsed in June this year. There have been several incidents of small bridges collapsing in the state in the last few months.