Tinsukia: The detection of cracks on the surface of the Dhola-Sadiya Setu, India’s longest road-bridge connecting Sadiya and parts of Arunachal Pradesh with rest of Assam, have prompted the company looking after its maintenance work to rope in Kolkata-based engineers for repair work.

The cracks, amid torrential rainfall and landslides causing substantial damage to roads and infrastructure in various parts of Assam, have also triggered panic among commuters and citizens.

But why have authorities allowed all types of vehicles to ply if the bridge has developed cracks on its surface?

Denying reports of cracks on the bridge or in its pillar, Secura Road Projects Limited’s Ravindra Kumar, who is in-charge of the bridge, said due to movement of heavy vehicles a gap has been developed between the bracket as well as on the retaining wall as a result of friction.

“It is a minor damage on the approach-road portion of the bridge and will be repaired within two days,” Kumar said, adding, “The bridge is intact and it has nothing to do with any of the main pillars of the bridge as being reported in some media.”

The 9.15 km-long bridge has altogether 182 pillars. The bridge has a strategic value since it is located close to Indo-China border, thereby facilitating quick movement of military troops and artillery to the Anini side of the border, thereby becoming a game-changer for the army in times of conflict as well as for people residing in these remote areas. 

Anini, the last district headquarters in Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, is on the easternmost border between India and China.

“It has nothing to do with the floods,” Deputy Commissioner of Tinsukia Narsing Pawar told this correspondent.

Pawar said as per the report of the magistrate and company’s engineer, a crack has developed on the connecting slab of the approach road on one side due to movement of heavy vehicle. “There is nothing to worry and the bridge is open for all types of vehicular movement.” 

Notably, the bridge was inaugurated in 2017 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari .

Also read: Tripura’s rural economy in dire straits: Manik Sarkar

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