Haryana-based SP Singla Constructions, the makers of the Khagaria-Bhagalpur bridge, are under the Bihar government’s scanner after Rs 1,710 crore four-lane road bridge project over river Ganga collapsed for the second time in 14 months. The Rs 1,710 crore four-lane road bridge project connected Sultanganj in the Bhagalpur district and Aguwani Ghat in the Khagaria district.
Following public outrage, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government, which is facing flak over the bridge collapse, on Monday served notice to the construction company, while it also suspended an Executive Engineer of the Road Construction Department.
The Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd has served notice to S.P. Singla Construction, asking why the Bihar government should not blacklist this company. If the company did not respond to the notice in 15 days, it could be blacklisted by the government.
Meanwhile, the Executive Engineer is facing the charge of failing to keep an eye on construction proceedings and irregularities the construction company had opted for during the construction of the bridge.
Sources told news agency IANS that the company has used low-grade materials during the construction and the pilings are also under a question mark.
Allegations Against the Company
According to a district administration official, irregularities and designer faults, on a massive scale, appeared during the design and construction of the bridge. He said that the construction company has piled 150 feet to construct a pillar on the banks of the river but the same height was used for the middle of the river where water is generally at the highest level.
The company needed to pile more than 200 feet in the middle of the river which was not the case in this bridge, thus leading to two back-to-back two collapses in the last 14 months.
There are 22 pillars in the middle of the river and as the depth of the piles are all 150 feet deep, it was inevitable that deterioration would arise in all these pillars.
About SP Singla Constructions
Headed by Sat Paul Singla, SP Singla Constructions is a family-run company with registered offices in Delhi and Haryana.
As per a report by India Today, the company was incorporated in 1996 and has a net worth of approximately Rs 869 crore in the Financial Year (FY) 2022.
The company specialises in deep foundations, long-span bridge construction, and urban flyover construction, among other things, as per its website.
Company In Controversies Before
As per India Today report, SP Singla Constructions, headed by Sat Paul Singla, came under the scanner for the first time in May 2020, after three children died when a concrete slab fell on them during the construction of Lohiya Chakra Path, Nitish govt’s ambitious.
At the time, an inquiry was ordered into the incident, but later no action was taken against the construction company.
SP Singla Constructions reportedly bagged several government projects in Bihar, including a six-lane bridge across the river Ganga in Patna from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Lohia Path Chakra on Jawaharlal Nehru Road and the Sherpur-Dighwara bridge among others.
Major Clients of SP Singla Constructions
Apart from Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd (BRPNNL), some of the major clients of SP Singla Constructions include Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation Ltd (JKPCC), Border Roads Organization (BRO), and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), according to India Today report.
GSIDC, Goa, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd, Indian Railways and PWDs of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam are also reportedly its clients among others.