Flyover collapse rocks Assembly, House adjourned multiple times

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Bhubaneswar: A day after an under-construction flyover collapsed in Bomikhal area of Bhubaneswar, the Odisha Assembly today witnessed unruly scenes over the matter with Congress chief whip Tara Bahinipati along with party legislators moving to the House well and demanding the Chief Minister’s resignation. Unable to run the House, Speaker Pradip Amat had to adjourn the proceedings for as many as 5 times before normalcy returned.

As soon as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik started his statement on the flyover collapse in the House, members of the BJP and the Congress moved to the well shouting slogans.

Though the Chief Minister apprised the House of the steps taken and issuance of an order for probe, the Opposition members were unhappy over the statement and demanded the CM’s resignation.

Patnaik said prompt actions were taken immediately after the flyover collapse and a case has been registered under Sections 304 (culpable homicide), 337 (causing hurt), 338 (causing grievous hurt) and 34 (criminal act) of IPC against Panda Infra Project (India) Pvt Ltd, Bansidhar Praharaj, deputy executive engineer and Kishore Kumar Rout, assistant engineer.

Praharaj and Rout have been placed under suspension, the CM said adding that executive engineer Dukhabandhu Behera has also been suspended for prima facie lapses.

The case is under investigation and a high-level inquiry by a committee comprising the chief engineer of designs and chief engineer of roads has been ordered.

The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week, he informed the house.

“My government will ensure that stringent and exemplary action is taken against all persons responsible for the tragic incident,” the chief minister said.

The Opposition members were, however, unhappy with his statement and kept up their demand for his resignation.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress and party legislators had moved separate notices seeking immediate discussion on the matter and suspending the Question Hour.

“It is unfortunate that the Speaker did not give me an opportunity to speak even though I had moved a motion seeking a detailed discussion on the flyover collapse issue,” Mishra said.

However, the Speaker allowed the Question Hour, leading to vociferous protests from the Opposition.

As the House could not function due to the pandemonium, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat convened an all party meeting which agreed that the time will be fixed at the Business Advisory Committee for a discussion on the flyover collapse issue in the assembly.

The members of opposition BJD, Congress and BJP attended the meeting and participated in the business of the house in the evening.

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