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Third bridge collapses in flood-hit Uttarakhand

Bridges are falling like ninepins in Uttarakhand. After the last year’s deluge, the government had started massive reconstruction works in various districts such as Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Pithoragarh, with the Centre providing a package of Rs 7,342 crore.

After the Assi Ganga bridge fell last week, yet another bridge has caved in at Govindghat area built over the river Alaknanda in Chamoli district. After the rise in water levels of Alkaknanda river, the bridge had developed some cracks last week. After a survey, district authorities had declared the bridge unsafe. On Saturday, the bridge suddenly collapsed, causing embarrassment to the government. “We have ordered an inquiry into the collapse of the bridge,” said a government official.

This is the third bridge to collapse within a span of two months in the hill state.

The National Building Corporation Company (NBCC) Ltd, a public sector undertaking, is under fire in the state after a bridge being constructed by it collapsed in the floods-hit Uttarakashi district. A construction worker was also killed in the incident. The 55-metre long bridge being constructed over Assi Ganga river, at a cost of Rs 3 crore, collapsed on Saturday within minutes of its construction, Bhatt alleged.

“The construction companies which are responsible for these bridges should be blacked-listed and an independent probe should be ordered,” said Ajay Bhatt, the leader of the opposition.

“The collapse of these bridges has totally exposed the government’s negligence in the reconstruction works being carried out in the disaster-hit areas of the state,” said Bhatt.

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