Under fire over the Khagaria-Bhagalpur bridge collapse, the Bihar government on Tuesday asserted that the construction company concerned will be made to reverse the payment.
Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, who is also holding the portfolio of road construction ministry, clarified that the state will recover the money from the construction company after the mishap.
“We have served a notice to the construction company and recovered the money from it. The bank deposit will also be seized once the reply from their side comes. The Bihar government has already initiated an inquiry into the matter. IIT Roorkee has also been roped in for investigation. Once the report is out, strongest possible action would be taken against the company and the engineers involved,” Yadav said.
“It is a dream project of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and we will construct a new bridge in a time-bound manner,” he stated.
“When I was the leader of opposition last year, I raised this point in the Vidhan Sabha. At that time, the then road construction minister Nitin Navin had given the responsibility to IIT Roorkee to investigate the bridge. So, we are waiting for the report,” he said.
“We have served the notice to the construction company and sought its reply in 15 days. After that, the Bihar government will take action against it,” he said.
According to sources, the Bihar government is preparing to impose a fine on the company to the tune of Rs 600 crore and also seize the bank deposit of Rs 200 crore.
Reacting to the BJP leaders’ demand for a CBI probe, Tejashwi took a dig at them saying that CBI officials are not engineers so how can they investigate the civil work of the bridge.
“After the first collapse of the bridge, we did the review meeting and gave clear directions to the construction company for the construction,” Yadav said.
Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, the finance minister of Bihar said: “The bridge was weak right from the beginning and hence it collapsed. Our government is sensitive to this issue and will take strong action against the culprits.”
“As soon as our chief minister learnt about the bridge, he directed the officials to go on the spot and take action against the accused. The deputy CM and department secretary had briefed the media persons the same day,” Chaudhary said.