Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kosi Mahasetu poses multiple threats to villagers

Official version is that nearly 80 years after an earthquake destroyed a critical link between Mithilanchal and Seemanchal regions of Bihar it has been reconnected with the inauguration of a 1.8 km bridge called Kosi Mahasetu on February 8 in the Kosi river basin.

C P Joshi, Union Road Transport Minister and Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister, Bihar inaugurated the four-lane Kosi Mahasetu, connecting Bhaptiahi and Saraigarh in Supaul district. It has been built at an outlay of over Rs 400 crore by the Gammon India, the road bridge, with a 8.75 km approach road. It is claimed that it will cut distances between Supaul, Saharsa, Purnia and Madhepura districts on the one hand and Darbhanga and Madhubani districts on the other.

Villagers protest was suppressed by issuing notices under article 107 of the Civil Procedure Code to several people.

A 1.8 km long bridge and 9 km afflux dam has constructed to contain the wide flow of Kosi river. The Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune had estimated that the bridge should be 10300 meters long. Bihar government’s Gokul Prasad Committee had expressed strong reservations about the the design of the bridge. With the inauguration of this flawed bridge lakhs of people of surrounding villages face the danger of submergence and displacement being displaced in near future.

An independent fact finding team should visit to ascertain the situation and suggest remedial measures at this late stage.

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