The approach road of Gandak Mahasetu, linking Bihar’s Gopalganj and Betia, was breached on Thursday due to the high water pressure, causing floods in about a dozen villages and disrupting traffic along the Betia-Gopalganj road.
The breach point of about 30 metres on the Gopalganj side, which is about 500 metres from the main bridge, was caused by the release of 4.5 lakh cusecs of water from the Gandak Barrage at Valmiki Nagar. A guide bundh, which was constructed to disrupt the flow of the Gandak river, was also breached.
The district administration has started damage control measures. Gopalganj District Magistrate Arshad Aziz said, “The water leakage from the approach road started on Wednesday. But the erosion could not be prevented. We have been hoping to resume traffic soon.”
Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam deputy engineer Shakir Ali said, “The approach road was damaged because of the high water pressure. We have started repair work and are ensuring there is no further erosion.”
The bridge and approach road on either side were constructed by Hyderabad-based Vashistha Constructions Private Limited at a cost of Rs 548 crore. It was opened by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on March 13, 2016. The bridge had shortened the distance between Motihari and Gopalganj by 85 km.
The breach of the approach road to the Gandak Mahasetu has occurred about a week after the approach road to the Sattarghat bridge over the Gandak river — which links Bihar’s Gopalganj and East Champaran — was washed away.