India’s longest bridge to remain closed for two days for safety audit
The 9.15-km-long Bhupen Hazarika Setu over Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, in Assam was inaugurated on May 26 this year.india Updated: Dec 12, 2017 14:49 IST
The Bhupen Hazarika Setu, India’s longest bridge, will remained closed for two days this week for a safety audit, seven months after it was thrown open to the public.
The 9.15-km-long bridge over Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, was inaugurated on May 26 this year.
“The bridge will remain closed for all vehicular traffic on December 13 and December 14 while a private firm authorised by the Union road transport and highways ministry conducts tests,” Biswajit Phukan, sub-divisional officer of Sadiya in Assam, said.
The bridge, which allows for quick movement of troops to the frontier, is considered one of the country’s most strategic on the border with China.
Since its inauguration, the Bhupen Hazarika Setu has become a major tourist attraction, with people thronging the area.
“We have taken alternative measures to connect both banks through the Kakopathar-Dirak-Tezu raod while the bridge remains closed. Ferry service has also been resumed as an emergency step,” said Phukan.
The test to be carried out by TPF Engineering Private Limited, a Mumbai-based engineering solutions provider, will take a look at all aspects of the structure, including a quality assurance test.
“Some tests that are conducted routinely need only partial closure of the bridge. But the one that will be done at Bhupen Hazarika Setu will require a complete halt to vehicular movement,” informed Prasanta Bhattacharya, team leader with TPF Engineering.
While officials term the test routine, locals have raised questions about the quality of the bridge.
First Published: Dec 12, 2017 14:48 IST