Bhubaneswar: The state BJP on Friday demanded the arrest of secretary, Works department, Nalilikanta Pradhan, over the collapse of a portion of an under-construction flyover at Bomikhal here the previous evening in which one labourer was killed.
Seeking a clarification from the state government on why it had decided to extend the tenure of Pradhan for one year after his retirement (on March 31, 2018), the saffron party alleged that the secretary was entrusted with the task of collecting funds for the party.
“Since an FIR has been lodged against the Works secretary, he should be arrested immediately,” it demanded.
The party also wanted to know under whose pressure the government had awarded the tender to Panda Infra Projects, the blacklisted construction company, to take up the flyover work.
The Congress has also demanded compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh for the injured labourer, Ananda Kumar Nayak, undergoing treatment AMRI Hospital in the city.
Blaming the engineers for the tragic incident, All Odisha Contractors’ Association demanded action against them. “The state government should initiate action against the engineers who were supervising the flyover construction. They should be taken to task for gross dereliction of duty. These engineers are not visiting the work site. They only know how to collect percentage from the contractors. Each junior engineer earns over lakhs. There is no work without percentage,” president of the Association, Pravat Das said.
He further alleged that the mishap took place as the state government favoured non-Odia contractors.
Meanwhile, tension ran high at Lathikata, the native area of the deceased labourer Ajay Bumicha (38), in Sundargarh district as irate locals blocked the National Highway near Lathikata Block office demanding action against the company officials and adequate compensation to the bereaved family.
Sources said the eight-member forensic team, which rushed to the mishap site for an on-the-spot investigation, found that the iron rods were not properly aligned. As a result, it caved in as the balance could not be maintained.
The team also hinted that it would submit a report to the government within a week.