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Contractor’s Magic Potion Of 1 Part Cement And 7 Parts Sand Fails To Deliver Retaining Wall Of Nambul, Caves In, SO Suspended

The breached portion of the retaining wall and inset the alluvial soil used for the construction. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, May 24: In yet another apparent case of lack of quality control, around 25 feet long portion of the retaining wall constructed along Nambul River in the proportion of 7:1 of sand and cement has caved in near Takyel Khongbal Mayai Leikai area last night.

Taking swift action, an SO of the IFCD has been placed under suspension and a departmental inquiry instituted to probe the matter.

This is the second time that portions of the newly constructed retaining wall have caved in following the collapse of a 10 feet long portion near Lukram point of Takyel Khongbal Khumanthem Leikai on May 10.

The breached portion measuring around 25 feet of the retaining wall, the construction work of which has been completed just around a month back, reportedly falls within the responsibility of one Thokchom Gyaneswar of Bashikhong, who has taken up the contract work of constructing the retaining walls over a distance of 80 meter.

The incident may have occurred following heavy rain in the past few days, but questions have been raised over the proportion of the sand and cement used in constructing the retaining wall.

When The Sangai Express visited the site where the retaining wall has collapsed, it was confirmed that the proportion of sand and cement used was indeed very low and alluvial sand, locally known as folley was used.

Folley is the local name given to alluvial sand which has a high density of mud and is highly fertile for growing vegetables but is not suitable at all for construction purposes.

One Thokchom Latababu, a worker involved in the construction work of the retaining wall, disclosed that proportion of sand and cement used was 7:1 and the portion which has collapsed falls within the responsibility of contractor Gyaneswar of Bashikhong, who has taken up the contract work of constructing the retaining wall over a distance of 80 meters.

The worker, however, asserted that tautening of the mortar may take some time as the construction work completed just around 20 days. But he could not give an answer when asked how long it would take for curing.

What is even more interesting is the quality of the sand that has been used in the construction of the retaining wall, which has been taken up with the stated objective of solving the problem of recurring flood faced by the people on account of breaching the river embankment during rainy season. The sand used appears more like folly and dried folly may have been soaked in the rain leading to the collapse. On closer inspection at the very spot where the retaining wall has gave in, The Sangai Express could discern that the sand and cement mortar that have been used in the construction work did not stick with  stone chips and boulders of the adjacent wall. According to one Maibam Tomba of Takyel Khongbal Mayai Leikai, construction work along the portion of the retaining wall which has collapsed completed around a month back.

A team of MPP members have also visited the site where the retaining wall has collapsed for spot inspection along with media persons today afternoon.

General Secretary of MPP Robin Blackie and president of MPP Youth Front M Maniton were among the party members in the inspection team. Talking to media persons after the inspection, Robin Blackie informed that the service of an expert would be sought to find out whether there is quality control or lack of it in construction of the retaining wall and the help of the RTI would be taken to seek information in this regard. Reacting to the earlier assertion of IFC Minister N Biren, who reportedly claimed that quality is being controlled in the construction of the retaining wall when it was first collapsed, the MPP general secretary categorically stated that it was only to shield the inefficient contractors and engineers.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by president of Takyel United Progressive Organization (TUPO) Chingangbam Diwan has questioned how Minister Biren could pass a judgment on the quality of the work without ever conducting a spot inspection and how recurring flood from breaching of the embankment is supposed to be prevented if the retaining wall collapses within a month of its construction. Diwan further said that the announcement of Chief Engineer Th Indramani through media that construction work on the retaining wall would be completed within November has created apprehension in the mind of the people over the possibility of flood from  the water in the large trenches dug up but where construction work are yet to be started.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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