In a shocking event captured on camera this past Sunday, 4th June 2023, an under-construction bridge in Bihar, India, succumbed to an unfortunate collapse, marking the second time this has happened to the Aguwani-Sultanganj Bridge. This incident is a glaring reminder of a recurring issue in India—failing infrastructure—and has subsequently stirred up concern among Maldivians regarding a project currently under development by an Indian company in the Maldives.
Witnesses watched in horror as the bridge gave way, crashing into the Ganges River below. The recurring failure of this bridge project has not only sparked a domestic uproar about corruption and mismanagement in India, but it has also raised concerns globally, particularly in the Maldives. It has been noted that falling bridges seem to be all too common in India, an alarming fact attributed to a perceived lack of expertise in the field.
Amit Malviya, a high-ranking official of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has demanded the resignation of several key officials, including Bihar's Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, in response to the incident. The Chief Minister has assured the public that the collapse will be investigated thoroughly.
The bridge collapse in Bihar is the second such incident since last December, when another 200-metre bridge, also under construction, met a similar fate. These incidents have fueled apprehension among Maldivians concerning the ongoing Thilamale Bridge project, currently being developed by Afcons Infrastructure Limited, an Indian company.
The Thilamale Bridge project is of significant importance to Maldivians, promising improved connectivity and prospective economic development. However, in light of recent events, many local residents have voiced their concerns about the quality of work being carried out by the Indian firm. The bridge collapse in Bihar stands as a disturbing emblem of what could happen if there are shortcomings in planning, construction, and oversight in the Maldives project.
Authorities and citizens alike are now urging for stringent quality checks and accountability in the Thilamale Bridge project to ensure that it does not meet a similar fate as the Aguwani-Sultanganj Bridge. It is hoped that the lessons learned from the Indian experience will be applied to prevent any potential mishaps in the Maldives.