As the frequent reports of bridge collapses in Bihar are raising concerns among residents about the quality of development work in the state, now, Union Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, also former Bihar Chief Minister, has responded to the issue by raising the possibility of a conspiracy behind the incidents.  

In the past nine days, five bridges in Araria, Siwan, East Champaran, Kishanganj, and Madhubani districts of have collapsed in Bihar. 

Reflecting on the matter, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Manjhi on Saturday asserted that poor-quality materials might have been used but why these collapses did not occur earlier, asking if there could be a conspiracy behind the recent incidents. 

“It is a matter of concern that bridges are collapsing (in Bihar). It looks as if poor-quality material might have been used. But why were the bridges not collapsing before 15 days or a month ago? Why are they collapsing now? Is there a conspiracy behind it?” Manjhi said while addressing the media. 

The MSME minister was talking to media when he suggested that the repeated bridge collapses could be a deliberate effort to discredit and tarnish the reputation the government. 

Claiming there to be a motive behind these events, he said, “These things are being done on purpose to tarnish the image of the government. Bridges are collapsing continuously, I think there is intention behind this.” 

The Union Minister affirmed that the government is implementing stringent actions against the contractors and engineers accountable for the bridge collapses. 

Chronological Order Of Recent Bridge Collapses In Bihar

The series of bridge collapses began on June 18 in Araria, where a newly constructed bridge over the Bakra River collapsed before its inauguration. Subsequently, another collapse occurred on June 22 over the Gandak River in Siwan, a bridge that had been standing for approximately 40-45 years. 

 The incidents continued with a collapse on June 23 of a bridge under construction in East Champaran, where locals attributed the failure to the use of inferior materials. On the following day, another bridge fell in Kishanganj. The most recent collapse took place in Madhubani, occurring just a day after the Kishanganj incident. 

Notably, last year in June, a temporary bridge on the River Ganga in Vaishali suffered partial collapse due to strong winds, connecting Raghopur to the Vaishali District Headquarters. 

(Based on inputs from ANI)