A Bihar Assembly committee said it found cracks and potholes, one of them with fish swimming inside, on a 5-km stretch of a Rs 220-crore state highway — on the same day it was inaugurated by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The 29.3 km Bhagalpur-Akbarnagar-Amarpur two-lane highway was inaugurated via video conferencing on August 25. State Highway 85 was constructed by Rajbir Construction Pvt. Ltd under the supervision of Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC).
Vidhan Sabha Zero Hour Committee chairman Chandrahas Chaupal (RJD) told The Indian Express: “I had received a complaint from the Chenari Congress MLA Murari Gautam. We visited the spot on 24 August and 25 August. We found cracks at several places between Akbarnagar and Sriramnagar. We talked to local residents and raised the matter before BSRDC officials.”
Raj Kumar, BSRDC DGM (Technical), told The Indian Express: “There were cracks at some stretches of the newly-constructed road because flood water had been flowing on it for 12 days. We were not able to carry out concrete fencing work on either side of the road because of floods.” The DGM said soil at the base had been eroded and was now being repaired.
Chaupal, meanwhile, said the MLA would take up the issue during zero hour and that it would be pursued by the Zero Hour Committee. Gautam had made the complaint on the behalf of Congress’s Lalan Kumar, who was the runner-up from Sultanganj in the 2020 Assembly elections.
Lalan Kumar said: “We found fish in a pit in the middle of the road. By no standard was the road ready for opening.”
The local leader, who accompanied Chaupal to the site, said: “The work quality is substandard. There needs to be a thorough inquiry into the matter to fix responsibility on the construction company and BSRDC.”
Kumar said he was planning to move court “sensing corruption” in the project implementation. “And what was the urgency to open the project that was not complete?” he asked.