Planning Minister: Platform running aground is no cause for delay in bridge project

Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam responds to questions at the Parliament on August 18, 2022. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam told the Parliament on Thursday that one of the platforms used for the construction of the Thilamale’ Bridge running aground the Vilimale’ reef is no cause for a delay in the project.

Aslam was summoned to the Parliament on Thursday to answer questions from parliamentarians.

Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam asked Aslam regarding the damage from the incident, which took place Tuesday, and whether it would cause a delay in the project.

Aslam responded that he did not know the specifics of the cost incurred for the bridge off the top of his head.

“I am unable to provide details of the cost incurred for the Thilamale’ Bridge,” he said.

Aslam said that a geotechnical investigation and an assessment of possible damages to the reef was in progress.

He said the extent of the damage and the fine will be identified once the assessment was complete.

Aslam said he does not believe the incident will result in a delay in the project.

EPA’s Director General Ibrahim Naeem told Sun on Wednesday morning that the agency was assessing possible damages to the reef.

“We will know whether to impose a fine or what will be done if there is any damage to the reef once the assessment concludes,” he said.

Three workers sustained minor injuries in the incident and were treated at the hospital.

The construction of the Thilamale’ Bridge was contracted to India’s Afcons Infrastructure on August 26, 2021. The groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held on August 2, during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s visit to India.