Bridge collapses a week before handover

Kathmandu, August 11

Just a week before its handover to the authorities, an under-construction bridge over the Bishnumati River collapsed in Kathmandu yesterday.

The bridge, connecting Dhalku and Naradevi, caved in ‘under the weight of concrete slabs’ being laid on its deck at around 6:45pm. Police said five workers sustained minor injuries and were sent to the Thamel-based Manmohan Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The bridge made of metal framework with concrete slabs on the deck was designed for pedestrians only. The bridge was being constructed at a of Rs 15 million by Him Sagarmatha Construction under Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project.

Locals alleged that the bridge collapsed before inauguration as the contractor used sub-standard construction materials.

KSUTP Director Ananta Acharya said the project would launch an investigation to establish the fact. “It is suspected that the bridge collapsed under the weight of the concrete slabs. We will study its design and quality of construction materials, and hold the contractor accountable for the incident,” he told THT.

“According to a preliminary assessment, the collapse of the bridge has caused a loss of around Rs 1.5 million. Its repair work is estimated to cost Rs 2.1 million,” he added.