Guwahati, Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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Centre confirms design deficiency
Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, Aug 17 – Weeks after receiving complaints, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has confirmed that minor design deficiency has been noticed in Pier P 3 of the under construction bridge over river Brahmaputra parallel to the Saraighat bridge.

Minor design deficiency was noticed in Pier Cap P 3 of viaduct, Amingaon side. Minor cracks have been noticed in pier P 3, admitted Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways RPN Singh in reply to a Lok Sabha unstarred question by Rajen Gohain.

Corrective action has been taken for safety of viaduct by rectifying the crack, the Minister said. However, Singh denied that the cracks have developed due to drawings based on faulty design.

As reported last week that in response to a letter from another BJP MP Bijoya Chakravarty, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath had said that he would have the matter examined.

In her letter to the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, the BJP MP from Guwahati Lok Sabha seat had alleged that the project being executed by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) at an estimated cost of Rs 238 crore, had developed cracks and it was kept a secret.

“SPAN and IIT-Delhi made glaring mistakes in designing this major bridge and some of them are beyond rectification,” the MP alleged.

Though Chief General Manager and project director of NHAI, Guwahati are aware of this, but no action has been taken by NHAI like checking of the entire design and seismic hazard, preventive measures by an independent agency like IIT-Guwahati before taking up further construction to avoid occurrence of major structural and construction problems in future,” the MP opined.

She blamed use of poor quality local cement and other material, alleging negligence on the part of NHAI.

The detailed project report (DPR) consultant for the project was SPAN and all design and drawings were proof-checked by IIT-Delhi. The bridge is being constructed by Gammon and the supervision consultant is Mott. MacDonald, Chakravarty informed.

The three-lane bridge across the Brahmaputra River will connect Guwahati city with North Guwahati. The new road bridge over the Brahmaputra is part of the NHAI’s Rs 4,765-crore four-lane East-West corridor project from Silchar to Srirampur.

The bridge is aimed to take a huge load off the historic Saraighat bridge, the only link between the two banks of the river at Guwahati, besides easing the traffic snarls.

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