Bangladesh to sue Hyundai construction company for bridge crack

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Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNI) The Bangladesh government considers that design deficiency was responsible for expanding cracks in 4.8 kms Jamuna Bridge and would go to the international court against the construction-company Hyundai.

The Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge connecting northern region with capital Dhaka was constructed at a cost of 4,000 crore Taka with an expected service life of 100 years. It was publicly opened in 1998.

Several cracks were detected across the bridge less than 10 years in service.

''If it is proved that design deficiency is responsible for expanding cracks in the Jamuna Bridge, then we must go to the international court for realising compensation to repair the bridge,'' Communications Adviser Major Gen (Retd) Ghulam Quader told a press briefing yesterday.

He said legal measures were being discussed to contest against the Korean construction firm, Hyundai.

Mr Quader said as the Hyundai is responsible for design and construction of the bridge so it is their liability to repair the cracks in the bridge. The government was very much aware about the troubles of Jamuna bridge as it is country's national issue. The Bangladesh Bridge Authority appointed consultant firm Angel Lazaro and Associate to examine the depth of the cracks and suggest measures for mending the bridge for preventing any further deterioration of the situation.

The consultants would also supervise the repairing works of the bridge, which is important as it links country's two parts separated by the mighty river Jamuna.

Executive director of Bangladesh Bridge Authority Khan M Ibrahim Hossain, informed that it would take nearly 18 months to complete the entire work, including finding reasons of expanding cracks and repairing works, and needs about 100 crore Taka.

''We know that it is a long time, but the works would be completed without troubling vehicle movement,'' he said.

An inquiry committee formed by the Communications Ministry to examine the cracks submitted his report on December 27, 2006.

The report identified the design deficiency for the cracks in Jamuna bridge and said the cracks were created during the construction of the bridge.

But a delegation of Hyundai visited the Jamuna Bridge on June 17, 2006 and informed that temperature differential is responsible for the bridge developing the cracks.

Now the consultant firm Angel Lazaro and Associate would find out the cause of the cracks.

UNI XC SZ RK1230

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