Truck driver booked after bridge collapse near Indo-China border in Uttarakhand

The bridge was a vital one and was used by the Army and the ITBP used bridge to reach their posts near Chinese border
The collapsed bridge near Minsiyari in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.(HT PHOTO)
The collapsed bridge near Minsiyari in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.(HT PHOTO)
Published on Jun 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Dehradun/pithoragarh | ByHT Correspondent| Edited by Sabir Hussain

A day after a Bailey bridge near the Indo-China border in Munsiyari area in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district collapsed when a flatbed truck with an excavator on it was trying to cross despite warnings not to do so, police on Tuesday booked the driver for negligence and damaging the bridge.

On Monday, the bridge collapsed into a rivulet when the truck tried to cross it despite several warnings. The collapse of the bridge which was also used by the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and army personnel to reach their posts near Chinese border has cut off a population of about 7,000 people living in villages across it.

Mohammed Asif Khan, station house officer, Munsiyari police station said, “We have booked the driver of the trailer truck identified as one Godhan, a resident of Almora for negligent driving and causing damage to public property under relevant sections of the IPC on Tuesday.”

“We took the action after receiving a complaint from assistant engineer Jaiveer Singh of the department concerned in which he accused him of crossing the bridge despite several warnings by construction workers there,” said Khan.

The police officer said that the accused has not been arrested yet as he is still undergoing treatment in the hospital after getting severely injured in the accident. The excavator’s operator was also seriously injured.

“We are also yet to record his statement. Once his condition improves, we will do that also. As of now, a population of about 7,000 living in various villages across the bridge has been cut off due to the collapse of the lone bridge in the area connecting them to the main town of Pithoragarh,” said Khan.

The police officer who had gone to visit the spot to check the repair work said, “The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) have already started the repair work on war-footing and will soon repair it in the next 5-6 days.”

The crucial bridge is about 65 km short of the Indo-China border. The trailer was carrying the excavator to Lilam Valley near the border and was to be used in a road project of the BRO.

At the time of the incident, construction work was going on for another bridge near the collapsed one which was not in good condition. When the trailer came there, the workers warned the driver not to cross it because the bridge was able to bear a load of only a four-wheeler at a given time. But the driver did not pay any heed and tried to cross it leading to the bridge’s collapse.

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