The government on Wednesday accorded sanction to a penal of five engineers to investigate the partial collapse of the assembly complex at Jammu. Interestingly, MD PCC who should have ideally faced the probe is part of the officials penal mandated to investigate the loss.
The order 1309-GAD of 2012 issued Wednesday afternoon identified five members of the penal as Chief Engineer PMGSY Jammu, Joint Development Commissioner Works, MD PCC, Chief Engineer Public Works Department, and Chief Engineer Designs, Inspections and Quality Control Department. The penal has to submit its report by December 14.
The terms of reference of the penal include identifying causes leading to the collapse of the wall/ ceiling and structural damage to the existing building. It will also see the steps taken by the contractor and engineers to safeguard the existing building before the damage was caused. This penal will identify areas of the building which are safe or unsafe and finally, this penal will identify measures that are required to further safeguard the building from further damage.
Initially, the penal was announced to be headed by the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister B B Vyas. However, in the order issued Wednesday afternoon his name was excluded.
The order has set tongues wagging in the civil secretariat. “Ideally, MD PCC should have faced the probe because he is working on the project after the contract was given to him,” an official told Kashmir Life. “But it is interesting that he is part of the penal that will probe the building collapse.”
The assembly complex in Jammu collapsed Monday night within hours after the Chief Minister visited the spot. Part of the building that would house press gallery, offices of Deputy Speaker, Law Minister and Finance Minister crumbled. Had the collapse not taken place during the night, it might have led to human losses. The collapse was the result of massive digging within five meters of the existing complex for a new Rs 113 crore legislature without creating any support or safety valve for the heritage complex.