Patna: After the under-construction bridge collapsed in Bihar’s Bhagalpur on June 4, concerns are rising about a number of old bridges, some of which are British-era ones, including the 161-year-old Abdul Bari bridge in Bhojpur district.
The rail-cum-road bridge connects Patna district at Parev village and Koilwar of Bhojpur district on the Sone River. The Abdul Bari Pul was constructed in 1862.
Generally, the department of railways puts over 100-year-old bridges in the dangerous category list.
In 2015, some intellectuals of the region had written a letter to the then Union railway minister and brought into the notice its deterioration. However, no major initiative was taken except for minor rectifications and painting jobs.
The NHAI constructed a six lane road bridge parallel to this bridge to take the load of the Abdul Bari bridge. But, the Railways has done nothing on its part and more than six dozen trains cross over it every day at slow speed.
The Sone River is known for sand mining, which also takes place near the bridge, thus threatening the base of the pillars. Local villagers claim that a new rail bridge at this place is badly needed.
Besides, old Railways over-bridges in Kaimur district are also in deteriorating conditions. These are — Durgavati-Karanpura , Mohania-Patna bridge, Mohania-Dadwa bridge and Kudra Lalpur bridge. Heavily loaded trucks frequently ply on these bridges despite the district administration having put up signboards on either side of the bridges.