Four suspended over bridge collapse

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IMPHAL, February 10: The government has suspended four persons responsible for the collapse of the under-construction bridge at Keirao Litan Makhong over the Iril River on February 5 as it was constructed under their supervision. The contractor of the bridge was also sent a show-cause notice demanding explanation on why he can’t be blacklisted from being a special contractor.

This was stated by Works Minister Khumukcham Ratankumar while briefing the media at his official chamber on Monday afternoon.

“The responsibility of the mistake has been fixed to those who were taking the supervisory role in the bridge construction. Action has been initiated against L Ingochouba Singh i/c Executive Engineer, Bridge Division PWD, N Bimol Singh Assistance Engineer-III Bridge Division PWD, Md Abdul Khalid Section Officer Sub-Division-III Division PWD and S Santikumar Road Mohari Bridge Division PWD. They were suspended under sub-rule (I) of Rule 10 of the central civil services (classification, control and Appeal) Rule 1965.”

The contractor, Liakat Ali, has also been sent a show cause notice asking his explanation on why he can’t be blacklisted from being a special contractor, he said also mentioning that on learning about the incident he, accompanied by Principal Secretary (works), Chief Engineer (PWD), Additional Chief Engineer-II (PWD) and Superintendant Engineer (Bridge), visited the spot and inspected the collapsed bridge on February 6, 2014.

The department has conducted several meetings and discussions for taking every works of PWD seriously whether be it in bridge, road etc and has instructed engineers to maintain quality control of the construction works. Responsible persons must be present in the construction sites.

The report of the bridge collapse was called from Additional Chief Engineer -II PWD on February 6 and on the same day the Additional Chief Engineer submitted the detailed report. The work was taken up with a NLCPR funding of Rs 6.43 crores and commenced on December 16, 2011. The length of the bridge is 60 metre with four spans of 15 metre each. Construction of the three middle piers and two abutments up to cap level including wing walls and retaining walls on both western and eastern side are completed, the works minister said.

He further mentioned that the casting of the two spans on western side of the bridge started on February 3. But the slab under construction collapsed on February 5 all of a sudden, the cause of the collapse of the collapse may be due to the failure of the supporting temporary propping/staging subject to further verification.The government is pleased to constitute an Inquiry Committee led by Ram Muivah, Principal Secretary (Works) as chairmen, M Lokendro Singh Chief Engineer (PWD) and N Subhas Singh, Superintendent

Engineer (PWD) as members respectively to investigate the incident.

The team will enquire on causes for the collapse of the bridge, quality of materials used, design of the bridge, any lapse in the execution and supervision of the works and precautionary measures to be taken in future to avoid such incidents. The inquiry report will be submitted within one month, Kh Ratankumar said.

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