Assam: On March 16, the newly constructed Kapili Bridge in Kampur, Nagaon, collapsed, leaving three workers seriously injured. The workers were thrown from the bridge when it collapsed, and all three were taken to the hospital in critical condition.
According to reports, several workers may still be trapped beneath the bridge. The incident has sparked outrage among locals, who believe the bridge was built with subpar materials. The bridge’s contractor and construction workers are currently on the run.
One of the residents expressed his concern, saying “The bridge was built solely to kill people. We have no idea if anyone is trapped beneath the bridge’s rubble. No one has arrived to assess the situation as of yet. Employees employed by the contractor have also fled.”
The incident occurs at a time when the Assam government has announced a number of infrastructure projects, including flyovers, that will be completed this year. The collapse of the Kapili Bridge raises concerns about the construction quality and safety of these projects.
The authorities have yet to issue an official statement about the incident, but it is being investigated and appropriate action will be taken against those responsible.
On October 7, 2019, the 275 MW Kopili Dam Power House of NEEPCO (North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited, a Union Ministry of Power Undertaking) in Assam suffered a major disaster. The penstock pipe that transports water from the Umrangso dam to the hydropower house burst early in the morning in Assam’s Dima Hasao (formerly North Cachar Hill) district, releasing a massive amount of water, much of which entered the power house, where four NEEPCO employees are feared to have been trapped/washed away. A large portion of the Kopili Hydro Electric Plant was also inundated, as was a temporary bridge[ii]. There are also some videos of the situation available.