Bihar government suspended 14 engineers over bridge collapse incidents

The Uncut

Patna. The Bihar government on Friday suspended 14 engineers in connection with the collapse of several bridges in the state in the last few days, a senior official said. The decision was taken after the inquiry committee submitted its report to the water resources department.

Additional Chief Secretary of Water Resources Department Chaitanya Prasad told reporters here that the investigation found engineers negligent and monitoring ineffective due to which many small bridges collapsed in the state. The employees who have been punished include three executive engineers. Officials said that in the last 17 days, a total of 10 bridges collapsed in Siwan, Saran, Madhubani, Araria, East Champaran and Kishanganj districts.

Bihar government cancels contracts worth Rs 3,600 crore issued during Mahagathbandhan rule

The Bihar government has cancelled contracts for rural water supply works worth Rs 3,600 crore issued during the previous grand alliance government. Public Health Engineering Minister Neeraj Kumar Singh told reporters on Friday that this decision was taken after an investigation conducted by the department. The investigation found that proper procedure was not followed in issuing these tenders and adequate areas were not covered.

He said, “The department has cancelled contracts worth Rs 3,600 crore related to rural water supply system during the previous grand alliance government. Earlier, we had cancelled 350 contracts worth Rs 826 crore of the PHE (Public Health Engineering) department. The department has so far cancelled contracts worth more than Rs 4,400 crore approved during the previous government.” Singh said, “The investigation has revealed that proper procedure was not followed in awarding the contract and adequate area was not covered. Now the department will issue revised contracts for the work as soon as possible.” He said that these tenders were related to rural water supply works, which also included installation of hand pumps and small water supply systems.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalit Yadav was the PHED minister in the previous government. Singh said that a total of 1,160 tenders worth Rs 4600 crore were issued by the PHE department during the previous government. However, he refused to give details about the irregularities found.

He said, “So far we have installed 1,500 hand pumps in different parts of the state. The process is on to install 3,000 more hand pumps in new areas.” In January, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar broke ties with the RJD and returned to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA. Soon after the NDA returned to power, the government ordered a review of all decisions taken in the departments of RJD ministers.

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