Hunza: Fact finding committee formed to investigate bridge collapse

The collapsed bridge has been under construction since 2006
The collapsed bridge has been under construction since 2006. Photo: Amjad Hussain Barcha

Hunza, May 13: The Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan, Sikandar Sultan Raja, has formed a three-member fact finding committeeto investigate the collapse of the three girders of the RCC bridge on Tuesday. The committee has been directed to submit its report by Wednesday night (today).

The committee has been tasked to study the design, quality of materials and other construction aspects of the project which was being implemented by a notorious firm called Five Star Construction Company. The company has a history of getting contracts for mega projects and leaving them incomplete for several years, while the cost of construction keeps rising. The Committee has also been asked to explain the causes of the collapse and identify the factors or persons responsible for it.

The Khizarbad-Sikandarabad bridge project had been started in 2006 at the estimated cost of around 71 million rupees. Due to unexplained delays in the construction, the cost of the bridge had risen to around 86 million rupees in 2011 and the project was still incomplete.

Earlier today, three of the girders constructed in January this year collapsed from the the beams and fell in the Hunza River, wasting millions of rupees and precious time, while the communities of Hussainabad, Mayun and Khizarbad continue to suffer due to lack of road and bridge.

The Police have, reportedly, not registered a case against the contractor despite of orders issued by the Chief Minister, Syed Mehdi Shah.

The committee comprises of four members including SE Basharat, having Engineer Taj, Engineer Ali Muzaffar and Assistant Commissioner of Hunza as its members.

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  1. Respected Chief secretary sab ! all this is the result of weaknesses of works department and how the engineers would find facts. The involvement of administration is right but from professional perspective there should be a neutral committee of Engineers from outside the department who would be in position to find the facts. Now the relevant department would claim that this is the cause of terrorism and concentration would be diverted from that side instead of facts finding. AKPBSP ( Aga khan planning and building service Pakistan GB) can be contacted for supporting in validity checking of its materials.

  2. Dear Faisal/SIKANDAR SULTAN

    The recent news of collapsing of RCC bridge in HN is really disturbing. There is also news that an investigation team has been formed to probe the reasons for the collapse.
    Who are members of the investigation committee? R they the peers of one’s responsible to over see the construction of the bridge or the ones who made the design or vetted the design? If so, it is preposterous. Please don’t do it.
    If u have some vestige of honesty, press to get the investigation done by relevant experts ( Structural design engineers) of NESPAK or other credible entity. The investigation should start from geotechnical/soil investigation studies, engineering design and execution. Most probably, the contractor might have compromised the design requirements.

    Investigation by peers will be mockery of all of us, specially the professional engineers from GB.

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