CE Speculates On Reasons

IMPHAL, May 24: Even as a Section Officer (SO) has been placed under suspension pending a departmental inquiry on the collapse of a portion of the retaining wall at Takyel section of the Nambul River, Irrigation and Flood Control Department (IFCD) Chief Engineer Th Indramani speculated that natural causes or incompetent workmanship might have caused the breach.

Speaking to news-persons in connection with the incident, which came to light this morning, Indramani said incessant rainfall in the past few days which raised the water level, consequently resulting in saturation of the soil and triggering breach in the retaining wall cannot be ruled out.

Asserting that a departmental probe has already been ordered in addition to suspending the said SO pending the inquiry, the Chief Engineer further declared that in case any fault on the part of the contractor could be detected black-listing process would be initiated.

The bill amount would not be released to the contractor in question and same work will be re-implemented, he maintained and identified the SO as one Rishikesh Sharma.

A part of the Nambul River project to control flooding and implemented under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (AIBP) with the financial assistance of the Brahmaputra Board, the damaged portion falls within an 80 meter long project work assigned to one Janeshwor (contractor).

It is also informed that the nearly 5-metre long collapsed section was implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 30 lakhs and the project reportedly completed about a month back.

Conceding that lapses with regard to supervision on the part of the Department could not be ruled out at the moment, he also said it would be premature to conclude that retaining wall collapse was due to lack of quality control.

Confiding that an official team of the Brahmaputra Board is scheduled to arrive here in July to inspect projects being undertaken in the State, he said in case the team is not satisfied there will be no further fund release thereby rendering the entire venture to a futile exercise.

Asserting that the Department will closely monitor ongoing project works, the Engineer also declared that defaulting contractors, if any, would be promptly blacklisted and exposed to the general public.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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