Rajbiraj, August 13
An under-construction bridge over the Khadak River along the Postal Highway at Janjar has collapsed in Bodebarsain Municipality, Saptari.
Locals said that the under-construction bridge collapsed due to use of substandard construction materials.
Floods in the river last week had badly damaged the under-construction bridge.
Locals suspect that the construction company might have used substandard materials for construction of the bridge.
The forty-kilometre road section of the Postal Highway lies in Saptari and the road section has been divided into two segments to complete the construction work on time.
Bajraguru Construction was entrusted with the responsibility of constructing the road section from Rajbiraj to East Kanchanpur and Rautaha Shrestha Diwa JV was entrusted with the responsibility of construction work from Rajbiraj to the West Balan River.
Both the construction companies had started their work with a deadline of two-and-a-half years. As per the contract, the construction companies have to complete the works within July 13, 2020.
Similarly, Bagmati Construction Service has been entrusted with the responsibility of constructing 12 bridges along the highway.
The locals said that the contractor had not even completed a single bridge along the highway in the last two tears. They said that contractor must be held responsible for the collapse of the bridge.
Locals accused the construction company of using substandard construction materials. As a result, even a minor flood in the river damaged the under-construction bridge. “We had urged construction companies to use quality materials while constructing the bridge time and again, but they did not heed our requests,” said Dineshwor Prasad Khati, a local. He said that the construction companies were not serious about using quality materials.
Similarly, Pappu Yadav, another local, said that construction of the long-awaited Postal Highway had made people happy, but that mood did not last long.
Meanwhile, the bridge construction company’s representative Raj Dev Kumar Yadav claimed that the bridge collapsed due to floods in the rive. “The materials used for bridge construction were of standard quality,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on August 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.