Environmentalists say the collapse of the Khagaria-Bhagalpur bridge across the Ganges will affect the aquatic biodiversity of the region for a long time.
“The fall of such a huge concrete structure into the Ganga will have a huge environmental impact in the long run. It will have a profound effect on the aquatic biodiversity of the river in this area. It will adversely affect the aquatic fauna.” Ashok Ghosh, professor at the Mahavir Cancer Institute and former chairman of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, told IANS.
Unlike mud, the concrete structures used to build bridges are inorganic. Therefore, there is no question of water solubility of concrete structures. Iron bars may rust when exposed to water, but this is a slow process. “It will take years and existing projects to clean the river will also face a major jolt due to the collapse of the bridge,” Ghosh said.
“Such large-scale concrete structures also alter the flow of the river. It makes the river shallower in the area, leading to floods. Khagaria, especially, is affected by floods during monsoons. The new structural disaster will create more problems for people living in the region,” Ghosh added.
Bihar is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. As a result, many rivers such as Kosi, Kamala Balan, Gandak and Parman originate in the Himalayas. Their waters pass through various North Bihar districts and fall into the river Ganges.
The state government’s biggest challenge is the silt carried by these rivers and its accumulation in the low-lying areas of north Bihar and the Ganges. This obstructs natural drainage and makes rivers shallower. This has worsened due to haphazard development of drainage system in various districts. The water comes from the Himalayan mountains but does not return or go out to other sides due to poor drainage systems.
The above article was published from a wire source with minimal modifications to the title and text.
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