Mahatma Gandhi Setu, popularly known as Gandhi Setu is the longest ( but not the oldest) bridge of Bihar. It connects Patna to Hajipur and is the third longest bridge in India. Few years ago, it was one of the longest river bridges in India with the total length of 5750 metres. It was inaugurated by Mrs. Indira Gandhi in the year 1982.
In recent days, the bridge has been witnessing major traffic jams and accidents due to excess number of vehicles passing through it. According to a report, over 85000 vehicles pass daily through Gandhi Setu, which is the main reason behind traffic jams and road accidents on the bridge.
Few days ago, a 14 year old boy Adarsh Singh banged his Scorpio car from Gandhi Setu and fell in the waves of river Ganga . (What was a 14 year old —obviously having no licence– doing driving a car over a highway bridge is another question altogether!)
A girl named Pooja Bharti was suspected to have committed suicide by jumping into the river Ganga from thebMahatma Gandhi Setu , near pillar 30 . Not only this incident , but several accidents and suicide attempts are being reported
Mahatma Gandhi Setu was approved by the Central Government in the year 1969. Gammon India Limited, a construction company took ten years i.e. 1972 to 1982, to complete the full construction process .According to a government report, it took 87.22 corers as a total expenditure that time. Mahatma Gandhi Setu is not designed for heavy traffic. Major repairs started within 5 years of its completion.
There are many such cases in the records ,which are still on the files and investigation is still going on . Gandhi Setu, now a days is very dangerous, due to its tottering and overused infrastructure . Many of the government reports said that Gandhi Setu should be closed as a huge amount of traffic passes through it . Government of Bihar has made some rules and regulations for limiting the heavy motor vehicles passing over the bridge , but will it actually work?
Shivanshu Singh Satya
BMC Department, SXCMT, Digha Patna