Guwahati: The construction works of the ambitious 8.25-km bridge over the Brahmaputra, connecting the world’s largest river island Majuli with Jorhat in Assam, were temporarily halted after detection of a “minor issue”, officials said on Thursday.

The Rs 925.47-crore bridge project is being executed by UP State Bridge Corporation Ltd (UPSBCL), which claimed that there is no fault at all regarding construction and the works are going on as per schedule.

Sources in the Assam government said the construction works were suspended earlier this week to examine the wells, where the pillars of the bridge will be erected, and found a packing on one pillar that looked like “a crack”.

Necessary steps are being taken to address the issue and work on the said pillar will be started once the approval is given by the government department concerned, while works on other wells will start from Friday again, they said.

“I have been told that there is a small issue and it has been taken care of. Things are fine with construction works,” a top official of the Assam government’s Public Works (Building & NH) Department told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Another official of the department, who is directly involved with the issue, said that the local press reported a crack on the under-construction bridge a few days ago and the Public Works (Building & NH) Department swung into action immediately.

“There was an issue with the casting between two lifts. A packing was inserted and it looked like a crack from the outside. The work was immediately stopped on Monday and tests were carried out on all the wells,” said the official, who wished not to be named.

At present, eight pillars are being constructed, while the entire bridge will have 64 wells or pillars.

“We found that seven wells are fine and work on them will begin from Friday. The concerned well will be treated first and then work will start on it. We will test it again and permit accordingly,” he added.

When contacted, UPSBCL Joint Managing Director Rakesh Singh accepted that there was a “minor leakage”, through which cement was flowing out.

“To stop the leakage, morang packing or coarse sand was pasted on the outer layer. Inside the pillar, everything was perfect. Such things are very common in construction activities,” he told PTI over the phone from Uttar Pradesh.

Singh asserted that there was “no fault” on the bridge and construction works are going on at present.

“As soon as we heard about the issue, we strengthened our manpower and experts at the site. We have sent additional technical experts to monitor all the works of this prestigious project,” he added.

On November 29 last year, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma launched the construction works of the bridge over the Brahmaputra connecting Majuli with Jorhat on the southern bank.

The state government has constituted a cabinet committee to regularly monitor the progress of the project, which is likely to be commissioned by November 2025.

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