Panel to probe contracts awarded to Pappu Construction

CIAA probe still inconclusive on Jabdighat bridge collapse

Published On: September 5, 2018 07:47 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Sept 5: It has been over a year since the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) started a probe into Jabdighat bridge collapse in Bardiya district. But the investigation still remains inconclusive.

The constitutional anti-graft body had started an investigation into the matter after the bridge over Babai River collapsed in August last year. 

The 425-meter bridge, which was built by Pappu Construction Pvt Ltd, was opened for the general public a month before it collapsed. But Pappu Construction Pvt Ltd had not formally handed it over to the government.  

CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwar Dangal told Republica that investigation into the incident is still undergoing. “We cannot divulge details as the investigation is undergoing,” he maintained.

Many engineers and contractors had expressed their surprise over the bridge failure as even decades-old bridges across the country are sustaining major floods.

“Decades-old bridges along the East-West Highway have suffered only minor damages. But the Jabdighat bridge has suffered significant damages,” erstwhile joint secretary of the Department of Roads Daykanth Jha had stated following the bridge collapse.

Jha, who took retirement in October last year, had questioned the quality of works by the contractor.

The malfunctioning of the bridge has cut only road access to about 500 households of Magargadhi village of Bardiya to district headquarters Gulariya.

The handover of the bridge to DoR was delayed after National Vigilance Center found that the contractor had not used gabion wire for river training as required and also questioned the quality of approach road, officials of DoR say. They added that the contractor should pay for the damages.

DoR launched its own investigation following the bridge collapsed, but it left the investigation midway after CIAA intervened into the matter and launched its own investigation.

Bridge construction had begun on Fiscal Year 2010/11.

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