80-metre under-construction bridge collapses in Kabilas

- BIMAL KHATIWADA, Chitwan
80-metre under-construction bridge collapses in Kabilas

May 26, 2014-

An under-construction bridge spanning 80 metres over the Trishuli river in Kabilas collapsed on Sunday. The steel truss bridge was being built with a purpose to connect Dasdhunga with Devghat in Tanahun.

Navin Maharjan, the site in-charge of the company constructing the bridge, said that with the storm blowing off the truss, a month’s work and property worth approximately Rs 30 million went to waste.

Fortunately enough, no human casualties have been reported. “We had moved to a safer place when it started raining, but we witnessed disaster first-hand,” said Maharjan.

He claimed that the winds lifted the steel almost three to four feet high before slamming it to the ground. Ruling out any sort of technical glitches, Maharjan said they had left no stone unturned while installing the steel trusses.

According to the other locals witnessing the incident, the under-construction bridge collapsed as a strong gale hit the area. “We were looking towards the bridge from across the river when it suddenly collapsed,” said Suk Bahadur Nepali of Dasdhunga.

Three pillars have been erected for the construction of the bridge, one in the middle and two on either sides. The bridge has to be constructed in two phases by joining the steel parts from either side. Three year after being awared with the road contract, ANK Construction Pvt Ltd is yet to carry out construction work on the other side of the bridge, the section in Chitwan.

However, division chief Hari Kumar Pokhrel said that without being able to find a suitable location for construction, the work on the bridge started only 16 months ago. But, contradicting Pokhrel’s statement, the construction company claimed that it had only been 11 months since they started the work.

With an initial investment of Rs 150 million, the bridge was set to be completed by next year. “The winds knocked the steel truss down since the nut bolts were not tightened properly,” claimed Pokhrel, adding that probably only 40 percent of the collapsed bridge could be used for reconstruction.

Senior project engineers visited the site on Monday.

Published: 27-05-2014 08:41

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